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The

POWER

Series

2810 000144240

US ELITt-aifc
Counter-Terroflstlprcei

HV
6432
.

Ibo

1997

S.

T^^^:

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F.

Tomajczyk

USEUTE
Counter-Terrorist Forces

^1
Tomajczyk

'cmofor6oo& %3nf3maiionaI

Dedication
Dedicated to

all

the

men and women who

and

live, train,

fight

on the cutting edge

of America's counterterrorism efforts.

You keep us

And

in

free.

memory

of:

Inspector William Francis Degan.Jr


U.S. Marshals Service
Special Operations

Task Force

Group

One

and

Agent James K. McAllister


Federal Bureau of Investigation
Hostage Rescue Team

Special

For Joyce
1997 by Motorbooks International Publishers & Wholesalers. 729

On

PO Box

ensure that their attack

First published in

Prospect Avenue,

I,

Osceola, Wl 54020

USA

the frontispiece;

personnel

S.RTomaiczyk. 1997

living in

exemplifies

simply drove up
All rights reserved.

With the exception

of quoting brief passages for the purpose of

20,000 pounds

in

successful,

is

what

targets: that's

The

June, 1996

terrorists look for to

bombing of

Khobar Towers on King Abdul Aziz Air Base

The

this.

defended

Lightly

building

was located

next to

right

a fuel truck and ran off before

ofTNT

Nineteen airmen died.

mam

U.S. military

Saudi Arabia

in

road The terrorists

exploded with the force of

it

Department of Defense

U.S.

review no part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written

On

permission from the Publisher

page: A rare photo of Delta Force taken during the December 989
Panama to capture General Manuel Noriega. During the operation. Delta
rescued American businessman Kurt Muse, who was being held hostage in Panama's
the

title

invasion of

Motorbooks

International

is

a certified

trademark, registered with the United States

Patent Office

notorious Modelo prison. The assault team was inserted by


piloted by the 160th

The
All

information

in this

book

is

data or

who

also disclaim any

liability

incurred

in

connection with the use of

this

On

the back cover, top;

command, they

specific details

recognize that

some words, model names and

designations, for example,

mentioned herein are the property of the trademark holder We use them
identification

will

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industrial

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available at discounts in bulk quantity for

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If

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steadyAt a

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other, the helicopter can be

We

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true and complete to the best of our knowledge.

recommendations are made without any guarantee on the part of the author or

Publisher,

SOAR,

Manager

at the

and clear

SOG
man

a building of

several uniforms

in

operators practice two-man entry


teams,

who

typically

terronsts.The black outfit worn by

the team's closet.

It is

drills.

SOG

is

use the "snake" formation to assault

SOG

is

just

one of

designed for night operations

(i.e.,

camouflage) as well as to intimidate the "bad guys" so that they don't immediately

respond to the team's threat. By the time they do

react,

it's

too

late.

SFTomojczyk

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

On
Tomajayk.

S.

U.S. elite counter-terrorist forces

cm.

- (Power

S.

R Tomajczyk.

scene that no one

ISBN 0-7603-0220-0 (pbk

alk.

paper)

forces (Military science) -United States,

Power

HV6432,T65

1997

363.3'2'0973-dc2l

is

in

America wants to

see: the

2.

all

been hoaxes so

real.

This photo

an above-ground test (Operation Castle.

exploding

in

Printed

Hong Kong through World

Special

I.Title.

II.

series (Osceola, Wis)

97-15637

in

far

The Nuclear

the special unit that responds to threats and quickly

determines whether or not they are


:

Terrorism-United States-Prevention.

Series:

terrorist threats but, fortunately they have

Emergency Search Team

series)

Includes index.

I.

the bock cover, bottom;

detonation of a nuclear device. Since 1975. there have been numerous nuclear

Print, Ltd.

is

of an

Romeo

II

MT bomb

Event)

in

1954.

LLNL

CONTENTS
Acknowledgments

PROLOGUE
It's

Not Supposed To Happen Here.

...

CHAPTER ONE
AWorld Under

Siege

17

CHAPTER TWO
Monitoring Terrorists

29

CHAPTER THREE
The Covert Commandos: Delta Force And DevGroup

37

CHAPTER FOUR
Anywhere, Anytime, Anything: FBI Hostage Rescue Team

CHAPTER
The Shadow

Stalkers:

USMS

FIVE

Special Operations

CHAPTER
Snuffing

Group

Elite Units

CHAPTER SEVEN
Counterterrorism Weapons and Equipment

CHAPTER EIGHT
Takedown! Training and Tactics

Index

SIX

Out Super Terrorism: NEST and Other

Glossary

49

24

128

99

85

Acknowledgments
Researching the United
efforts is by no means

a simple task.

nature, counterterrorism

a very quiet

is

is

States'

its

very

endeavor that

to the

men and women who

special

world

world where

you your

life,

the

a hostage. This
U.S.

who
can,

me

allowed

world of shooters and

life

book

demand

a split-second

for perfection.

mistake can cost

of your buddy, and/or the


is

efforts: the

of

men and women

stand at the ready to protect us, as best as they

am

in

the world.

book

a reality: Thomas

Service; William

George

R.

T.

E.

Connor,

in

making

U.S. Marshals

Licatovich, U.S. Marshals Service;

Havens, Deputy Director, U.S. Marshals

Commander, USMS SOG; Walter


Commander, USMS SOG-TFI;
Wayne Plylar, Task Force Commander, USMS SOGTF3; LCDR Steven L. Pagett, Chief, Navy Antiterrorlst
Alert Center; Louis J. Beyer, Navy Antiterrorist Alert
Service;

Lou

K.

Task Force

Erni,

Center;

Stagg,

Ronald

Benefield,

Naval

Criminal

Service;

Investigative

Tactical Training Unit;

Mark

Lonsdale, Specialized

V.

John Collingwood,

FBI; Daniel

Academy; Robin Montgomery, FBI


Critical Incident Response Group; Kurt Crawford,
FBI Academy; Tase Bailey, FBI (Ret.); Donald Bassett,
Schofield,

FBI

FBI

(Ret.);

Oliver "Buck"

Revell,

FBI

(Ret.);

John

Commander, FBI HRT (Ret.);


Richard "Dick" Marcinko, Commander, SEALTeam Six

Simeone. Deputy
(Ret.)

now CEO

and

Executive Officer,

CEO

of

SOS Temps; Norm

SEAL Team

Six

(Ret.)

Carley,

and

now

of Applied MarineTechnology lnc.;Tom Dorrety,

Central

Intelligence

Agency;

Harold

Heilsnis,

Department of Defense; Ken Carter, Department of


Defense; Col. Johinnie H. Wauchop, ASD (SO/LIC);
Sgt.

especially grateful to the following individu-

and agencies for their kind assistance

this

life

dedicated to everyone involved

counterterrorism

from the maniacs


I

als

into their

kickers, flash-

taps, live fire drills, personal sac-

sweat, and the constant

rifice,
is

H&Ks, double

bangs,

in

By

done behind barbed-wire fences and at remote


Hence am in great debt

locations around the nation.

It

counterterrorism

Donna

Resource

S.

Burgess, USAF,

Library;

Battalion

NCOIC,
Chief

Public Affairs

Ray

Downey,

Special Operations Coordinator,

FDNY; Chief Mike

Shannon, Oklahoma City

Department; Mike

Fire

McGroarty, City of La Habra

Fire

Department;

Jeff

Andrews and John Ventura, Department of Energy;


Roxanne Dey, Department of Energy, Nevada Office;
Lisa

Gordon-Haggerty, Director, Office of Emergency

Response, Department of Energy; Steve Wampler,

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; William


Heimbach,Jr., Los Alamos National Laboratory; Kathy

Kuhlmann

and

Ace

Ethridge,

Sandia

National

Laboratory; Sandy Brown, Department of State;Andy

America; Robbie Barrkman, Robar Companies; Mary

Department of State;
Frank Riley and Marina Drancsak, Department of
Transportation; First Lt. McKenna, USAF SOC; Major
Natalie Perkins, U.S. Army Public Affairs; Lt. Col. Ken
McGraw, U.S. Army SOC; Sheila Hein, Dan Jackson,

Scott Smith, Barrett Firearms Manufacturing

and Joy Bisson, U.S. Army EIGSD; Sgt. Kyle Olson,


USMC; Major Roseann Sgrignoli, USMC; Major

Johnson, U.S.

Laine. Diplomatic Security Unit,

General "Mike"

Myatt,

USMC, Quantico Marine

USMC

Lt.

Gordon,

Base; Capt. Rick

Woolard,

(Ret.);

Director, U.S. Special Operations

Jim

Fallin,

Wendy

NAVSPECWAR;

Command; LCDR

Goss and Ensign


Navy Public Affairs; C.J. Madden
Egnor, Navy Office of Information,
Lt. Eric

Snyder, U.S.

and Russell D.

Laberge,

Division; Congressman Charles F Bass


NH); Jamie Doyle and Neil Levesque,
Congressman Bass' Office; Alfred Testa, Jr, Director,
Manchester Airport; Lt. Mark Furlone, SWAT
Commander, NH State Police; Donald Gates, NH
State Police (Ret.); George L. Iverson, Director, NH
Office of Emergency Management; Dick Wesnick,
Editor, Billings Gazette; Carol Moore, author of
Davidian Massacre: Ken Good and staff. Combative
Concepts Inc.; John Shaw, Mid-South Institute;
Caroline Sizer, Glock Inc.; Ginger Ludke and William
Moles, Defense Technology Corporation of
E.

Coordinator,

Sgt.

Lise

Sales,

& Koch USA

Michael Sneen and staff,Thor International;


Hicks, University of Michigan

Inc.;

International

Simunition; Steve Galloway, Heckler

Inc.;

Gary

Police; Col. Jesse

L.

Tom Kukura, U.S. Drug


Enforcement Administration; Amanda Gaylor, Rand
Army

(Ret.);

Pat
Ravalgi,
Federal
Emergency
Management Agency; Kevin Rowe, SigArms; County
of Rockingham Sheriff; Anti-Defamation League; U.S.
Secret Service; U.S. Customs Service; U.S. Senate; U.S.
House of Representatives; General Accounting
Office; and the Gunsite Training Center

Corporation;

News Photo
(Rep.,

Senior

Then, of course, there are dozens of individuals

who, by the inherent nature of their


their contributions remain

one and

all

jobs, require that

anonymous.

for their assistance.

Through

and the collective efforts of everyone

salute

them

their efforts

met and spoke

with over the course of two years, Americans

now

have a better understanding of the special system that


is

in

place to deal out grief to "Tangos" and "Crows."

Having witnessed some of the training firsthand,


can say

is

woe

out America's
SF Tomajczyk

to those

elite

who

all

foolishly decide to test

counterterrorist forces.

PROLOGUE
It's

Not SupposedTo

Happen Here.
"Our sensors

are detecting absolutely

of survivors.

Our cameras show

day of the bombing also coincided with the execution

no sounds

of white supremacist Richard

only death."

Either or both

Rescue worker, Dan Schroeder

enforcement
"It

was

like

being forced at gunpoint to eat an ele-

phant ...with a

plastic knife

and fork."That's

compared the task

that lay ahead of him as he surveyed the pile of rubble that

had once been the nine-story Alfred

itself:

was the wrecked

was 9:05 A.M. on Wednesday, April


minutes after a Ryder rental

carrying 4,800 pounds of fuel and

exploded

The bomb had

allegedly

in

ammonium

front of the building.

been placed by Timothy

McVeigh and an accomplice. This act of terrorism


the worst

in

American history

Oklahoma

City.

been routine. He had been reviewing the budget for


the

fire

department's rescue unit with

Hanson, when

both

they

exchanged puzzled glances

Compound

in

shell. Thinking

blown

Waco, Texas.

Interestingly, the

up,

heard
as

his boss,

the

ceiling

blast.

John

They

dust rained

that a nearby auto

the image of a black


sky.

The bombing of the Murrah


several children vi^ho

were

building killed 168 people, including

staying at America's Kids, a govern-

ment-operated day care center located on the second floor The

Americans

wreaths and toys

felt

at

caused

the

site

them to spontaneously

of the bombing.

A'like

place

McGroarty

body shop may have

he went outside and was confronted with

He knew

and other

mushroom

then that

firefighters

it

cloud rising into the

wasn't the body shop.

He

scrambled into their vehicles

and raced to the scene.


Debris
a

in

the road forced Chief Shannon to park

block or so away from the Murrah building.

He

ran

the remaining distance, navigating through concrete

rubble and twisted cars,

grief

by law

to be the motive behind the

officials

For Chief Shannon, the morning of April 19 had

coincided with the

19 anniversary of the apocalyptic fire at the

Davidian

Arkansas.

believed

the noise reminded Shannon of an exploding artillery

It

nitrate fertilizer

April

Snell in

the plastic utensils were the tools available

1995, just three

truck

Murrah

later

down on them. A former Navy damage controlman,

to the rescuers.
19,

P.

in

Wayne

were

events

build-

Federal Building. The elephant


ing

annihilation

how Mike

Shannon. Special Operations Chief of the Oklahoma


City (Oklahoma) Fire Department,

many

of

them

flipped over

and burning out of control. An 18-year veteran with


the

fire

asters

department, he had witnessed numerous


in

his

career

tornadoes,

fires,

floods

dis-

but

nothing had prepared him for the carnage that greet-

ed him when he

finally

arrived

on scene.
9

^H

^v

To him, the
strafed

building

looked as

and bombed by enemy

if

it

fighter

had been

aircraft.

The

explosion had decapitated the face of the Murrah


of concrete to collapse

building, causing nine floors

and pancake on each other, squashing people and

equipment

the

in

The

process.

was

air

papers, dust, and smoke, and the ground

with

desks,

file

down onto

was

the street, partially

All of this

filling

8-foot-deep crater created by the

Chief Shannon took

all

littered

and

plants,

not to mention

steel,

corpses and mutilated body parts.

with

filled

cabinets, chairs, potted

crumbled concrete and twisted

office

had rained

the 30-foot-wide,

bomb itself.
in. He didn't know

of this

what had caused the damage actually that didn't


matter all he knew was that he was dealing with a

destroyed, unstable building that

So he and another
ing

firefighter

still

had people

in

it.

crawled into the build-

through a window and began to survey for dam-

old the day before. Several toddlers


ing

their parents.

were

fearful

POVs

federal

15

including

several

the Veterans

the building,

several

hundred workers

blast, plus

most

an

in

the building at the time of the

unknown number of visitors. But perhaps

distressing

aspea

of the

bombing was the

the

fact that

the Murrah building also had a government-operated day


care center located

on the second

floor

of the explosion; incredibly small bodies

It

many

burned and mutilated beyond recognition


ered

in

took the brunt


of

them

^were discov-

the rubble by emergency responders.The photo-

graph of 3 -year-old firefighter Chris Fields cradling the


I

limp

body of Baylee Almon

in his

arms became the sym-

bol of the tragedy worldwide. Baylee had turned

one year

effectively decapitated the front of

the building,

jams

traffic

were

vehicles. Volunteers, ranging

flying glass

and debris; one man was pierced

also

commonplace. The

As can be seen by the spray-painted warning


was

a dangerous task.

Mike McGroarty

in

the

wave from the

blast

explosion was responsible for ruptured eardrums,

and fractured

eyeballs, internal organs,

ribs.

By 10:30 A.M. emergency responders and volunteers had

removed

building.

old Daina Bradley,

who

under a

Murrah

pile

of

known

but three

all

from the crumpled

cement

One

lay

survivors

the basement

in

She had been

at the

building to get a Social Security card for her four-

month-old son, Gabreon. Bleeding and


foot of

live

of them was 20-year-

trapped

girders.

frigid

water, she

was lodged

in

laying in

about a

space so small

had

that the rescuers could barely reach her Rebar


steel reinforcing bars

her

tightly pinned.

head and her

the

used to strengthen concrete

Her

right leg

left

arm was trapped behind her

was crushed under

concrete. When doctors

finally

a huge slab of

managed to squeeze

in,

her blood pressure was dropping and she was going into

As they

deliberated about

how

to

remove her

from the rubble, the walls suddenly trembled, threaten-

on them. Everyone rushed

Rescuers had to search for victims inch-by-inch through the


pile.

near-

in

100 places. Punctured lungs and slashed throats

Daina behind begging them

left, it

wounded. Most of

critically

those injured were riddled with lacerations caused by

ing to collapse

lov/er

stations,

nearby warehouse,

in

set up to assess the severity of injuries and to

and caused the floors to collapse and pancake on each other

debris

officers, offered the

occur Triage

wouldn't

get help for the most

shock.

The explosion

owned

including four surgical units

defense department

DEA, BATF,and Secret Service also had offices


all located on the ninth floor There were

offices.The
in

agencies,

HUD, and

privately

designated for in-bound and out-bound vehicles, so


that

were

some

use of their cars as ambulances. Specific routes were

what had caused such devastation.


The Murrah building, which was built
Administration,

of another disaster happening.


first

from nurses to off-duty police

ly

1974, housed

searching for

lot,

They were scooped up by strangers who

hour, more than 600 injured people


were taken from the site to area hospitals. Many
were sent by ambulance, but some 400 were transported by what emergency responders refer to as

the

In

age and survivors. They would speculate later about

in

were found wander-

around the underground parking

returned 20 minutes

word spread

later,

that another

out, leaving

not to leave her They

only to flee once again

bomb

when

had been found.

II

A
ed

rare, inside
steel,

look at what the rescuers were confronted with: twist-

concrete rubble, and debris. Fluorescent paint helped point

out structural concerns to rescuers, as well as showed the locations


of bodies trapped

in

the wreckage.

An arrow above

the plywood

sheet points at the location of one such victim. Alike t<AcGmorV/

In

only

the end, the rescue workers decided that the

way to

save Daina's

was to cut

life

off a

portion of

her right leg that was crushed beneath the concrete


slab.

An

amputation

kit

was

called for. Dr.

Andy

Sullivan,

chief of pediatric orthopedics at Children's Hospital,

was the only surgeon


space to reach

small

her. Laying

enough to crawl

into the

on top of Daina, he gave her

a shot of anesthesia and then proceeded to cut off her


leg

below the knee using

several scalpels, because the

space was too small for surgical saws.

The procedure

took about 10 minutes. When he was done,


tied a

her

firefighters

harness around Daina's upper body and pulled

free. Later on,

they learned that Daina had lost her

mother, her three-year-old daughter, Peachlyn, and her


four-month-old son, Gabreon,

in

the explosion.

i-

Using jackhammers. rescuers dug slowly


in

buckets, as can be seen

them

in

downward through the

solve this terrorism case.

A/like

As rescue operations continued

into the afternoon

would be found. The bomb had done

its

work

exceptionally well. Yet firefighters and rescue personnel


persisted

in

probing the rubble,inch-by-inch,for signs of life.

Around
its

10 o'clock that evening, everyone's spir-

soared when

beneath the debris.


old

girl

who was

voice was heard calling out from


It

was Brandy

trapped

in

Liggons, a 15-year-

a section of the building

known

as

directly

beneath where the second and third floors of

"The Cave." This dangerous area was

the building had collapsed, creating a small hollow.

For rescuers to reach

on hands and

bellies,

6 days hoping to find survivors. Most debris was hauled out

McGroorty

and early evening, hope began to fade that any more survivors

rubble for

the right hand side. The FBI then went through the buckets looking for the tiniest of clues that could help

this area,

with

they had to crawl

someone

else

in

pushing

them

in

from behind.

It

was

place for claustrophobics.

It

not

definitely

good

took them three hours

to pry Brandy from this concrete coffin.

As Chief Shannon described it later, every rescue


worker was engaged in a "very serious game of pickup
sticks."

Between the

penalty of a mistake
easily

ers

shifting building

regardless of

and

live

wires, the

how minor

have been death for a rescue worker As

worked to

free Brandy,

from Muskogee,
comforted her
the while

sitting

sat beside
telling

on

Dr
her

could
firefight-

Rick Nelson, a surgeon

He

held her hand and

her that she would survive

corpse of someone

who

all

had not.

By the time the Urban Search and Rescue teams

(USAR) arrived on

site,

all

the

known

survivors

were

13

Searching for mi

vi.ui

ukc

naving to crawl

caiVi

to flee for their

gone. The

lives as

City

Fire

hundreds of

done an admirable

live

job.

Now

volunteers, had

came the nightmare

of

which

though Brandy had been found.

unlikely even

Rescuers pawed through the debris with trackhoes,


hydraulic

lifts,

and cranes, hoping to

find voids in the

rubble that might hold survivors. They even


far as to

went so

use listening devices, ground radar, thermal

sensors, fiber-optic

cameras and

dogs to detect victims. But

all

specially

trained

they found were

corpses and mutilated body parts. Concerned about


the emotional

would

have

and mental impact that

on

wires, twisted rebar

the

firefighters,

On

Department, with

local

finding and recovering any remaining people,

seemed

a cave explorer into tiny voids

and crannies created by the rubble. Not a great

and

site

this

crisis

supervisors

ensured that everyone underwent "defusing"

coun-

FridayApril 2

Perry,

Oklahoma

less

rescuers had

the FBI announced the arrest of

just

60 miles north of Oklahoma

with Black Talon "cop

killer" bullets.

City.

earlier by police

than 90 minutes after the explosion


a

for driving

handgun loaded

Before the FBI

finally

tracked him down, McVeigh was within a half-hour of


being set free after

Months

later,

Nichols,

would be

The news

first

he and

making a $500 bond hearing.

his

former-Army buddy, Terry

indicted for

murder and

conspiracy.

of McVeigh's arrest by the FBI bolstered the

rescuers somewhat, but the horror of the reality they


were confronting squelched their enthusiasm.

The search

left

without a license plate and possessing

gloves, buckets,

immediately after they

McVeigh had been picked up two days

the scene to help

14

More than once

bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh. For 48 hours they


had followed a trail of obscure clues to a jail house in

them deal with the stress. Later, group debriefings


were held with mental health professionals.

seling

shifting debris.

concrete rubble threatened to collapse on them. Mike McGwarty

Oklahoma

assistance from

like

Danger was everywhere:

place for those with claustrophobia.

demand. Fatigue

lasted for

6 miserable days. Leather

and shovels were the tools


set

in

as

rescuers put

in

in

high

20-hour

The longer people remained


more they began to look at It as
days.

struction

at the scene, the


if

were

It

Loaders plowed debris into

site:

The

cranes hoisted buckets of rubble.

a con-

painted around body parts and the letters

"DB"

(i.e.,

dead body) spray painted next to corpses. Rescuers

odor of

The nightmare was

and

piles

rotting flesh by wearing

and placing Vicks Vapor-Rub on their upper

masks
lip

or

Murrah building and detonated.

on the 30th

depart
the

Oklahoma

City Fire

ing was not a major


were killed making

ers

who

recalls

spent nearly

City did not lose


idents

who

had died

many people
Oklahoma

but

homeless and without food.

left

to

40 square

miles.

By comparison, the

Oklahoma

City

bombing occupied

only 7,000 square feet

Department

quarter of a block.

two

about a

As Chief Mike Shannon points


terrorism

out,

firefight-

hours

six

In

earthquakes routinely wreck havoc over

California,

day leaving

Oklahoma

dig-

what

Her

the explosion.

in

tragedy

it

power, water, or sewage, and res-

its

were not

arm of a woman

ging for the severed

over

event. Certainly,

behind to wrap up the dirty work.


Chief Shannon

itself.

By disaster standards, the Murrah building bomb-

sucking on peppermint candy.

The USAR teams began

finally

took eight

It

seconds for the building to collapse onto

only reminders

of the gory task at hand were the orange circles

dealt with the

of the

And he

was.

it

what made the

is

City incident bigger than

husband wanted to bury her whole,

is

convinced that

bombing

a similar terrorist

will

hap-

pen again

in

as well as to retrieve heirloom rings

Shannon

says that FBI

from her hand. Removing

thwarted several copy-cat bombings

the concrete rubble was

spoonful

dense

by the

dirt

the

firefighters

labored

the United States.

agents have

since that horrible April day, including

attempts within Oklahoma City

at

who were

their task until they finally recovered

by wackos

the limb. "You would have thought

that lightning can strike twice.

way

Shannon. "In the


rescue

beamed,"

they

we were

effort,

had

loved ones."

came

to

4,

the search
after

halt

35

finally
1

gut-

wrenching hours. The death


stood

at

68.

of terrorism

It

in

was the worst


U.

S.

toll

Rescuers used everything available to them to

thermal

sensors, ground

they found were corpses.

U.S.

all

krmY

it

terrorism.

much

"As

went wrong

buried from sight a

were

strategically placed in the skeleton

at

and

sanitize

prints

and

bomb on
one

it.

the

then
They'll

at

you

from

learning

to

and shattering the innocence

we're

as

about what went


guarantee

act

Oklahoma City was literally


few weeks later, when 50 pounds

of explosives

radar micro-

phones, and even specially trained dogs. But

and sense of security that each American once had.

The catastrophe

call

buried survivors, including fiber optic cam-

eras,

history, break-

ing the hearts of millions

why they

the scary part, but that's

find

On May

in

day can wear black at night. That's

spending

lost their

begin-

he warns. "Terrorists are

our midst. The farmer during the

bringing a sense of

who

peace to those

ning,"

few days of the

last

most of our time

said

itself

trying to prove

"Oklahoma City was the

they had found a pot of gold, from

the

In fact,

it,

park

wear

that

there

what

City,

terrorists

I'll

are

as well, as to

what

time. They'll

steal

remove

it

learning

and

Oklahoma

do the next
truck

right

all

and

disguises and

their

use

finger-

remote

won't ask any-

for directions.

"There's lots of things

they'll

do

better."

15

5:^sXjc^-:I'

CHAPTER ONE

AWorld Under

"The purpose of terror

one and terrorize

"Kill

to terrorize."

is

a thousand."

V.

is

chological

weapon. Terrorism creates

goal-directed violence.

fear,

It

A good

general

so that over time, a specific

example of terrorism

violence was the bombing of the

on February

26,

1,200-pound

12:18 P.M.

as goal-directed

World Trade Center

Ryder

cargo

explosive

garage beneath the

in

rental van

had

and

its

underground

the

World Trade Center complex. At

on that snowy afternoon, the homemade

exploded, rocking the

10-story building's foun-

dation and ripping open a 200-foot by

00-foot crater

the basement. The blast and the subsequent

and

cli-

political,

1993. Islamic fundamentalists

strategically parl<ed a yellow

in

also a psy-

is

or ideological goal can be achieved.

social,

bomb

Lenin

SunTzu

Terrorism

mate of

I.

6 people and injured

fire killed

more

smoke

than 1,000.

Thousands of people were terrorized as they fled to


safety from the building's highest floors. As ugly as this

The boniDing
arrival

car

modern
explosive
easily

bomb

is

terrorist's
like

perhaps the most


arsenal.

It

is

C-4 or Semtex on

seen.The

bomb

or by remote control.

influential

weapon

in

me

v'voiiQ

learn that this

incident

was

iidoe ^eniei
soil.

m i77j

actually the

caused by the explosion, The ladder


to the enormity of

signaled the

Later on, investigators would


first

shot of a

in

this disaster

is

war

the crater

the background provides

FD NYC

the

relatively

simple to place an

a vehicle

where

it

oi

of terrorism on U.S.

declared on the United States.The darl< central area

a scale

The

Siege

cannot be

can be rigged to explode by a timer device


U.S.

krmf

17

it was not as horrible as the terrorists had


hoped for: They had intended for the World Trade
Center building to topple over and knock down near-

event was,

by skyscrapers

They had
inside

in

a domino-like

manner.

the building, as evidenced by Judge

"Death

is

Duffy's

the sentencing of the terrorists;

what you

really

sought to cause. You had

Senator Alfonse

U.S.

Boutros

D'Amato, and

U.N.

and

Boutros-Ghali,

of

scheming to blow up the Holland and Lincoln tunnels, as

New York

well as other

also planned to poison people trapped

comments during

Mubarak,

Secretary-General

City landmarks.

Another example of terrorism as goal-directed


violence was the nerve gas attack on a Tokyo subway
station

on March

day religious cult

Members

20, 1995.

Aum

dooms-

of the

Shinrikyo used the tips of their

sodium cyanide

umbrellas to pierce containers of Sarin that had been

the bomb.

placed aboard three

laying around, and I'm sure it was in


Thank God the sodium cyanide burned
instead of vaporizing. If the sodium cyanide had
vaporized, it is clear what would have happened is
[that] the cyanide gas would have been sucked into
the north tower and everybody in the north tower
would have been killed."
What many Americans still do not realize was that
this bombing was the opening shot of a Holy War against

the United States.

It

was

a plot to frighten the so-called

"Great Satan" into changing

Some 22
ed

its

Middle East

were

Islamic fundamentalists

policies.

eventually arrest-

and brought

worldwide manhunt

after a

to

trial

where they were accused of not only bombing the Trade


Center, but also of plotting to

kill

Egyptian leader Hosni

commuter

sengers, causing

them to

Within min-

trains.

utes, a deadly cloud of Sarin gas settled

over the pas-

clutch at their throats and

collapse to the ground, vomiting.

The

attack

12

left

people dead and more than 5,500 injured, including


2 Americans.

On May
they

5, cult

placed

restroom
plastic

members

simple

tried again. This time

binary

at Shinjuku Station.

one

bags,

It

the

in

powdered sodium

with

filled

weapon

consisted of two

cyanide and the other containing diluted sulfuric

When

acid.

ablaze.

discovered by police, the bags were

Had they broken open,

chemical reaction

would have occurred producing enough cyanide


gas to

10,000 people.

kill

Investigations

these acts

plus

evil things.

wanted to

initiate a

United States.
Bill

The

17

both

were

just rehearsals for

Shoko Asahara,
war between Japan and the
to assassinate President

other heads of state with

nerve gas when they visited the Japanese

ment

November

in

of

killed

cult's leader,

He planned

Clinton and

that

incident that

earlier

seven and injured 500

more

disclosed

later

an

parlia-

1995. Eventually, during the

course of the war, Asahara expected to assume


control of the Japanese government.
tion,

The

terrorists

Center had

who

evil

detonated the

bomb

0-story tow-

ers to topple over into the other and cause a domino-like disaster

sodium cyanide

at the scene.

If

this

deadly

chemical had vaporized and been sucked up into the building's ventilation system,

18

prepara-

ernment and the

military to help manipulate the

circumstances to

his

beneath the World Trade

aspirationsThey wanted one of the

Investigators also found

In

he had placed cult members within the gov-

thousands of people would have died. FD

NYC

Had
world

it

as

favor

not been for diligent police work, the

you read

been embroiled

in

this

very

war And

direct result of terrorism

it

easily

could

would have been

have
as a

goal-directed violence.

Propaganda of the Dead


Although historians say that terrorism has been a

problem for
rorism

is

ages, today's statistics indicate that ter-

more widespread and

weapon than

at any

acceptable

as

other time. Terror tactics are

being used by individuals as a shortcut to shake the

confidence

public's

in

their

government and to

dis-

place the rule of the majority by the edicts of a select


few. Terrorism

is

not only cheap

mite are enough to


to accomplish what

For instance,

bombing

in

Beirut,

been

in

but

which

it

is

often able

killed

237

was

U.S. Marines,

undermine the United

the Middle East.

in

Lebanon

sticks of dyna-

modern conventional war cannot.


the October 23, 1983, terrorist

able to immediately
foreign policy

few

initiate fear

States'

The Marines had

as part of a multinational peace-

keeping force that had been deployed to support the


central

government, after

Lebanese

Palestinians had

hundreds

been massacred by Christian

of

militia-

men. The multinational force withdrew from Lebanon


in

the spring of

984, just

The message sent by the

months

after the

terrorist's truck

bombing.

bomb

been heard, loud and clear by policy makers.

had
It

is

war with tanks and jet fighters could


have achieved the same outcome. With the advent of
the Beirut bombing, the delivery truck was ushered
in as perhaps the most influential weapon of the
doubtful that a

twentieth century.

Profile of a Terrorist
So
killing

who

are these people

who seem to enjoy


own personal gain?
the person who ter-

innocent people for their

Depending on your viewpoint,


rorizes passengers on a Boeing 707

threatening to

blow them to kingdom come could be labeled as a


freedom fighter trying to bring attention to his cause.
Others, however, would bluntly
in

call

him

a terrorist or,

law enforcement parlance, a "tango" or "crow."

A
logical

reason for

in

this

their late-teens to late-20s.


is

martyr-bound terronsi drove a truck

guards into the Marine Barracks

look at past cases reveals that most terrorists

are young, usually

that the terrorist lifestyle of

hide-and-seek requires the vigor, daring, and fitness

detonated the bomb. The huge explosion

mangled the
rethink

its

building. This incident

involvement

the terrorists wanted.

in

U.S.

bomb

compound

frantically

area

killed

in

past

Beirut and

237 Marines and

caused the United States to

the Middle East, which

is

exactly

what

Deportment of Defense

19

most often associated with youth.

young

Also, the

tend to be defiant and impressionable and, thus, are

more

likely

respond

to

to

from

call-to-arms

One

who

of the Palestinians

ship Achille Lauro in

hijacked the cruise

1985 was only 17 years

old.

Oan,

the leader of the terrorist group that stormed the


Iranian

Kansi,

embassy

London

in

who opened

fire

in

with

was

1980,

his

AK-47

27. Mir

assault

Aimal

rifle

on

was 28 at the
McVeigh
was 27
Timothy
Domestic-terrorist
time.
City in
Oklahoma
exploded
in
bomb
when the truck
militant
who
was
Yousef,
Ahmed
a
1995. And Ramzi
in
two
days,
planes
bomb
12
accused of planning to
people leaving the

CIA

building

in

1993,

was only 28-years-old when he was arrested. Yousef


was also accused of masterminding the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center
In
ly

addition to being young, terrorists are basical-

lonely,

believe

they

that

feel

morally superior to others and

violence

is

or middle-class

Ramirez Sanches
rious terrorist

activists than are older adults.

in

is

number come from


For instance, Mich

families.

Carlos The

(a.k.a.

who

his early 20s,

lawyerThis

began

his

Jackal), the

the son of a prosperous Marxist

is

not to suggest, however, that the tactics

Anyone can be

aren't.

noto-

25-year reign of terror

ordenThey

of terror are confined to a specific social

a terrorist, regardless of their

because

social standing. That's

is

it

ideology that

is

responsible for crafting the mind of a terrorist.

The Training Grounds


often unwittingly serve as the

Ironically, colleges

mental training grounds for would-be terrorists. Here, in


hallowed

halls

and lecture rooms, students' impression-

able minds are


activists

and

exposed to extremist messages from


and peers.

In

the United States, these

teachings are protected by the First

When
has

a student decides to
difficulty

little

from some of

visiting speakers, as well as

their professors

support the

to

justified

a surprising

Cause. Additionally,
affluent

making

Amendment.

support

he

a cause,

Most
arms that

contact.

initial

extremist groups operate public relations

disseminate information to gain public support for

movement. These propagandists

their

blood, filtering out those

who

have

ing the group's political indoctrination.

groups fear the

undergo

possibility

Over
learn
in

how

the law.

new

accept-

Because these

of infiltrators, recruits

probationary period

given tasks that test their

attract

difficulty

in

which they are

commitment.

time, as they prove themselves, the recruits

to undermine society while remaining withStill later,

they

rorism and be trained

may
in

learn about disruptive ter-

the use of explosives and

weapons. There are numerous training camps around


the world, including the United States, that impart combat

to extremists.

skills

glance through military and

gun magazines usually reveals several advertisements


for such facilities. The most serious training camps,
Drive-by shootings are a popular way of terrorizing the public

and getting

rid

ofVIPs.This tactic, which

cycle or by a passing vehicle,

is

done on motor-

often

common

Central America, and parts of Europe.

20

is

U.S.

in

the Middle East.

Army

however, are located

in

sional terrorist training


Iran

traps,

the Middle East. There, profes-

sponsored by

Libya, Syria,

includes suicide assaults, aircraft hijacking,

and

guerrilla

warfare

tactics.

and

booby

frighten,

kill,

and destroy

it's

core of every-

at the

seem to share
whether they are

thing they do. Interestingly, terrorists

common
located

goals with each other,

Baghdad,

in

Iraq,

or

Bagdad, Arizona.

Examples include

Seize political

Win

gaining

(e.g.,

astounding.

visit

available to aspiring terrorists

to the library or a

mail order catalog can result

in

vised explosive devices, silent

killing

and more. Much of

this

flip

is

truly

through the pages of a

combat

techniques,
is

novi/

making

the Internet, where anyone can have access to

it

its

government's

citizens.

Obtain recognition for the group's cause.


Harass, weaken, or embarrass the government,

or law enforcement.

Prevent legislation from being enacted.

Extract revenge.

Effect a
lution,

tactics,

its

books and manuals on impro-

information

free prisoners).

to protect

military,

The amount of information

a regime.

concession through coercive bar-

Demoralize society by showing


inability

power and/or overthrow

a specific

change

government

in

via civil war,

revo-

or war between nations.

Influence policy decision making.

way onto

24 hours a day

Such aspirations encourage like-minded individu-

with just a few keystrokes. SF Tomafzyk


als

to band together. These groups operate either

alone or under the control of a government.

For non-students and the proverbial loners,

who

Department

The

on more than

of State maintains profiles

are inspired to action either by the deeds of others

50 key terrorist groups

or out of personal frustration with the way things are

are sponsored by various nations. These groups tend

in

society, training takes the

uals.

There

is

form of books and man-

an abundance of published information

available for the asking. With a


it

card, a

telephone and a cred-

would-be terrorist can acquire detailed

manuals on improvised explosive devices, sniping,


hand-to-hand combat, and

silent killing

other books on the market teach

how

methods.
to

sons, effect deadly ambushes, and create a


tity

and successfully evade law enforcement.


It

is

is

just

one price of

many

of which

be well-organized, highly trained, and strongly

financed.

They possess tremendous resources

weapons, supplies,
openly, especially

safe

in

houses), and operate

areas of the world

(e.g.,

fairly

where the

public supports their efforts.

Correspondingly, within the borders of the United


States, the FBI keeps an eye

groups and
visible

militias.

groups

(e.g..

The

on hundreds of extremist

larger,

more

established and

Posse Comitatus, Christian Patriots

is

Defense League, Aryan Nations) are similar to their

living

International peers, but they possess fewer resources

truly mind-boggling that such information

so easily obtainable. Yet, that


in

Still

make poinew iden-

to

internationally,

an open society.

and operate much more clandestinely.

And then

there are a multitude of smaller groups

Agents of Change

monitored by

As implied earlier, terrorists are agents of


change. They use violence and fear to achieve an
objective. It is that goal that drives them to threaten.

limited resources, are highly mobile, and are nearly


invisible

local

law enforcement that have very

to the U.S. public. Examples

include the

Hillsborough Troop of Dragoons, National Socialist

21

commit

terrorism and then quickly

a specific act of

disband. This approach

being used by

is

Often, these

extremists.

responsibility for their bloody acts.


FBI,

is

it

likely

Center bombing.
defendants

in

According to the

that this type of decentralized organi-

model was used

zational

some Moslem
do not claim

terrorists

in

1993 World Trade

the

would explain why so many


the Sheik Abdul Rahman terrorism case
so,

If

it

had different countries of origin.


It

common

is

for terrorists to help each other

out by sharing weapons, money, supplies, expertise,


and

cooperation

safe havens. This

is

aroused by the

simple desire to survive. As a group moves from place


to place to evade police and maintain operational

security

loses

it

group then
Seven

sticks

of TNT with a mercury-switch detonator create a

low-tech terrorist

weapon

that

groups

easy to hide just about any-

is

policies.

It

can do tremendous

damage and

on others for

help.

neo-Nazi group The

influence national

Order, which wrecked havoc

SF Tomojczyk

in

the western United

States during the 1980s, routinely donated


stole to fellow extremists, including

Front, National

Liberation

Order

New

Force, and

Strike

Regardless of the size of terrorist groups, they

dozen or so members

some

organizations,

it is

for security reasons.

common

into two functional ones when they reach six


members. Those with military experience will recog-

nize this tactic

from insurgency

how many

Regardless of
are kept

activities of

down

in

cells.

people make up a

That way

unit,

a cell

is

taken

by law enforcement, the entire organization

members

blindly

On
carry

day-to-day basis, the

out their assignments

ordered, often not understanding

how

is

cell

as

their actions

scheme of things. For example, a


could be ordered to blow up a bridge, not know-

into the larger

cell

ing that

it

There

will
is

serve as a distraction for a bank heist.

another,

new way

organizing themselves.

22

if

in

which terrorists are

Groups now

The United States: Between the


Deep Blue Sea

hire guerrillas to

Devil and

the

The United

Why?

First,

serves

its

it is

States

3.5

is

vulnerable to terrorism.

an open, democratic society that pre-

citizens' liberties

movement. Second,

some

training.

the dark about the locations and

other

not compromised.

fit

it

and the National Alliance.

Among

practice to divide a

cell

cells

money

Aryan Nations

Legion.

nearly always organize themselves into small cells of


a

The

Extremist

the United States often assist one another

in

fashion. For instance, the

in this

where. Yet

to be self-sufficient.

ability

its

relies

it

is

and allows freedom of

a large nation.

Encompassing

million square miles of urban

areas, the United States

is

and

rural

simply too porous to be

adequately policed. Third, Americans don't believe


that terrorism can happen to them. Hence, they

not take the precautions they should. And


is

last,

do

there

an abundance of unprotected targets for terrorists

to choose from: railway stations, airports, electric

power

plants,

government

dams, communication

facilities,

tunnels,

buildings.

Looking at the electric power industry alone,


companies,

power gen-

there are 3,500

utility

erating

and 365,000 miles of overhead elec-

facilities,

tric lines

1,000

of 66,000 volts or more. They are

all

sitting

The United
attacks

States

on them.

If

is

vulnerable to terrorism. For example,

the right areas are blown up,

tion lines longer than any of us could imagine. US.

ducks for a terrorist


terrorists

on

bombs could

easily

assault.

several

coordinated attack by

substations

using

knock out power

in

homemade

a large region.

more than

Three major

4.5 million barrels of

pipelines supply

petroleum each day

for domestic use: Capline, Colonial, and Trans-Alaska.

easy targets for sabotage by terrorists since

All are

the

pipes

are

located

remote areas of the


tected.

In fact,

tions)

is

above-ground, run through

nation, and are largely unpro-

government

physical security at

investigations reveal that

most key

oil

shortage, resulting

in

outrageous gas prices and gas

facilities (e.g.,

pump

these

sta-

critical

locations,

it

could take

six

sta-

inadequate. Should saboteurs destroy one of

months or

longer for repairs to be made.

Don't think

it

can

happen? Think again.

1977, the Trans-Alaska pipeline v^as

this.

quick look at the U.S. pipeline system reveals

a similar vulnerability.

of our nation's pipelines are above ground, which facilitates terrorist

Army

General Accounting Office study confirms

many

could cause a long-term

it

oil was
shutdown was required, since the

saboteurs. Fortunately, no

had not been penetrated by the


teurs, however, learned

1978, they

bombed

bombed
lost

In

by

and no

pipeline wall

blast.

The sabo-

from their mistakes.

In

the pipeline again. This time

About 15,000 barrels of oil


was shut down for 21
hours. That was small potatoes compared to the
damage that could have been done by a group of
the explosion worked:

were

spilled,

and the

line

terrorists intent on laying waste.

23

Lightly

defended

sonnel

living in

targets: That's

what

road. The terrorists simply drove up

men

died. U.S.

how do

Surprisingly,

would

in

in

is

successful.

Saudi Arabia exemplifies

a fuel truck and ran off before

it

this.

The June 1996 bombing of

The

building

was located

exploded with the force of 20,000 pounds

U.S. military per-

right

next to a main

ofTNT

Nineteen

air-

Deportment of Defense

Eeenie, Meenie, Miney,


So

terrorists look for to ensure their attack

Khobar Towers on King Abdul Aziz Air Base

it's

Moe

tangos go about selecting a target?

more complex than most of us


make hasty or arbiFrom the testimony of terrorists,

believe. Terrorists don't

trary decisions.

law enforcement officials have learned that target


selection

is

done with

care. First, terrorists find

politically suitable targets.

They

government, organization, or
believe

is

punished.

that

they

an adversary and, hence, deserves to be

Once

these "guilty" targets have been

then determine which one

identified, the terrorists


is

select a company,

person

the most vulnerable

they

don't want to

fail.
In

Their research efforts may include casing the

obtaining blueprints, taking photographs, and monitoring security.

In

some

instances, they

1978, a domestic extremist group pioned to Doard and steal

site,

may even

the

USS Trepang and then

unnamed

city unless

fire

its

nuclear missiles against an

they were paid a huge ransom. Fortunately

the FBI thwarted the plot.

A humorous

aside:

The Trepong

is

an

take a job with the targeted company, just to have

attack submarine, not a ballistic-missile submarine. The terrorists

access to inside information.

obviously weren't too swift. US. Navy

24

Of

the factors terrorists

all

selecting a target,

must be

target

one

lightly

at

others:

all

both

sites

Federal Building

was nonexistent.

In

1993, the FBI arrested several followers of Sheik

Omar Abdel Rahman who were plotting to wage a


Holy War against the United States. These individuhad planned to blow up tunnels, bridges, build-

als

and landmarks

ings,

one thing

targets had
ly

New York
in

All of

these

common: They were

light-

City.

their bullets

you are

their cause,

in

fair

game

for

and bombs.

why terrorism

Journalists are another reason

is

bloodier. Reporters routinely cover the horror of

mutilated body parts, and terrorists know it. In fact,


most terrorist groups orchestrate their attacks to
draw the attention of the media. By targeting people
instead of buildings or planes, they not only guaran-

more important-

tee coverage by the press but also,


ly,

intensify the public's fearThis

two-prong approach

nearly ensures that terrorists will achieve their goals.

As cold

defended.

When
it,

in

them

helping

defended. This explains the

World Trade Center and Murrah


bombings. Security

when
The

consider

over

prevails

as

it

may sound, the slaughtered

victims

mean

feel like

absolutely nothing to them. The message behind their

although their attacks tend to coincide with times

violent actions are directed at the people watching,

when

do

terrorists strike?

security

Anytime they

low and/or when the greatest

is

not the targets.

bloodshed can be attained.


Terrorists also like to

do

deeds on

their dirty

A New Type

of the death of a terror group martyr.

19 has great significance to extremists.

States, April

On

April

19,

Revolutionary
British
19,

think of terrorists, they picture

a menacing-looking foreigner with a

up around

Because Americans never see

War

go about their

began when Minutemen battled

troops at Lexington and Concord.

1985, FBI agents raided the fortified

known

as the

On

April

compound

CSA.

On April

of
1

are not

bandanna pulled

and carrying a machine gun.

face

his

1775, the opening salvos of America's

the extremist group


1

the United

In

of Terrorist

When Americans

important anniversary dates, such as the anniversary

this caricature as

they

daily lives, they believe that terrorists

their midst. Unfortunately, they couldn't

in

be

more wrong.
Foreign terrorists are operating on U.S.

9,

For

soil.

993, the siege with Branch Davidians at Waco ended

example, Abu Nidal, which the State Department

On

considers to be the world's most dangerous terror-

with flames and the death of 82 cult members.


April

19,

1995, white

Snell

was executed

was

also

when

for

supremacist Richard

Wayne

murder And

April

19,

Oklahoma

City

bombing

the

1995,

occurred.

ist

the

don't

seem to

reason for

in

Blood

of

become much bloodier Terrorists

think twice about inflicting casualties.

this

is

that physical security at high-risk

its

command

activists,

Israel for

And

group

turn their aggressions against soft targets, namely,

Arizona,

people. To today's terrorists, there

is

no such thing

The expression

"If

as

you're not

part of the solution, you're part of the problem," aptly

describes the terrorist mind-set. Thus,

if

you are not

in

Missouri

Jews and blow up

Washington, D.C.

HAMAS,

located

both from

in

Arlington, "Virginia.

Illinois,

an
its

Two

were arrested

in

attempting to restructure the organization.

Al-Fuqra, a Black Muslim sect, has been operat-

ing in the

targets has improved, thereby forcing terrorists to

an innocent bystander.

in

arrested
kill

extremist organization, supposedly has

political

Terrorism has

Embassy

Israeli

Islamic

Wading Knee-Deep

members

group, had three

and Wisconsin for plotting to

United States for more than 15 years. The

has

been

linked

Colorado,

to

terrorist

Pennsylvania,

violence

the

in

Pacific

Northwest, and Toronto, Canada.


Supplementing these terrorists
of anarchist. They are
society,

and

who

citizens

who

is

a domestic breed

are disgruntled with

have bonded together to commiserate

25

and take action. They are your friendly neighbors by day

year 2000. Extremists claim that these two powerful

and covert commandos

nightThey are your bankers,

groups

barbers,

Henry

managers,

store

and

patriotic,

would

like

firefighters,

come

fermers.They

at

police

officers,

across as being friendly, committed,

not to mention opinionated.

make

to

of us

All

new

their acquaintance. Yet, this

breed is violently dangerous when cornered.


This movement is known as extremism. For each
social, political,

and economic concern that

world

is

For example, Aryan Nations, the Ku Klux Klan,

and George Bush


and taxes

in

Bill

Clinton, King

have

been responsible for wars

New World

their effort to establish a

Order To thwart

endeavor, extremists have orga-

this

nized into groups devoted to radical decentralization.

One

such group. Posse Comitatus, believes that

the locus of government should be at the county level

and that the county


cial

sheriff

should be the highest

they have to recognize and respond

years with

to.

problems on blacks
If

Mud

(a.k.a.

People), Jews, and

only the whites could reestablish their

natural superiority, they argue, everything would be


made better again. Some have gone so far as to estab-

point system for

killing

encourage the cleansing of


the l980s,The

minorities,

society.

in

an effort to

During

its

reign

in

offered Aryan Warriors a sixth

Order

extreme, the American

other

return the
training

power back

and equipping

to
its

"we the people." This group is


members to resist invasion,

oppression, and tyranny. William Pierce, a supporter of

the

militia's beliefs,

which outlines

wrote

book

called

a scenario for taking

ernmencThe book

has served as a

The Turner

over the

handbook

of a point for a dead Jew. Assassinating the President

of the United States, however, was worth a

are

the other hand, organizations

like

full

point.

Militia

Organization intends to take over the United States and

ous extremist groups, including The Order

On

offi-

Members

over taxes and weapons.

officials

At the

and the National Socialists blame the United States'

lish a

reported to include

are

of this group have had several conflicts through the

in.

minorities.

members

Kissinger, David Rockefeller,

Carl Gustav of Sweden, Peter Jennings, James Baker,

exists,

there is an organized group of Americans opposed to


it and willing to resort to violence to change the system. These groups blame others for the mess that the

whose

many

similarities

Diaries,

U.S. gov-

for

numer-

In fiact,

there

between the Oklahoma City bomb-

the African

People's Party and the junta of Militant Organizations,

demand

receive self-determination and

that blacks

independent nationhood. They firmly believe that the


United States has an unspoken policy to enslave, conquer, and eliminate

non-white people.

all

proclaim that the virus that causes

by the United States

On

in

an effort to

Some even

AIDS was created


kill

blacks.

the economic ticket, extremists target the

Federal Reserve system, the tax system, and welfare.

These

individuals feel that the

ulatory, that they are

that the Federal Reserve


international financiers

government

is

too reg-

not required to pay taxes, and


is

who

controlled by powerful
profit at

each American's

expense. Many of them also believe that two

groups

the

Trilateralists

and

Bilderbergers

secretly orchestrating the formation of a

ernment to which
26

all

elite

are

world gov-

nations will be subservient by the

7he Turner Diaries

is

extremist groups. The


"patriots"
ties,

wige

war

a popular read

book

details

how

among anti-government
small

bands of so-called

against the federal government,

kill

minon-

and establish themselves as the nation's governing body SF

Tomajczyk

the country and are hoarding supplies and weapons.

They are ready to

pull

the trigger at a moment's

whom

notice against people

they consider to be

The Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm


Lord (CSA) was one such group. In 976, CSA

built a

fortified

compound on 224-acres
coming

ipation of the

to the FBI

1985

in

Tribulation.

raid.

pound, the FBI made

Upon

Missouri

in

evil.

of the

in antic-

They surrendered
com-

searching the

a chilling discovery: a laborato-

ry that manufactured cyanide.

CSA

had been produc-

ing this deadly chemical with the intent of poisoning

unnamed

the water supply of an

city.

com-

Today, dozens of extremist groups have

pounds

hidden

over

all

instance, the Christian Patriots

232-acre

compound

United

the

has

Pocahontas County, West


For

8 years, the

States, killing

Unabomber wrecked havoc around the United


homemade bombs sent

three and injuring 23 with

through the mail to people

and technology.
by the FBI

In

in his

in

who

had

0-by- 2-foot
1

seven of the

U.S. Federal

to

ties

airlines, universities,

996, Theodore Kaczynski was arrested

remote

eventually charged

Unabomber

April

Montana

cabin.

He was

known compound

foreign

and the bombing incident detailed

in

The Turner

Diaries.

For example, both bombings were of federal buildings,

happened

just after 9:00 A.M.,

carrying about 4,600


fuel oil

and

pounds

ammonium

and involved truck bombs


of explosives

nitrate fertilizer

made from

Coincidence?

The Compound Dwellers


And then you

who

and that they

will

As part

of

has

compounds

my

research for this book,

overthrow the so-called

to survive

corre-

was amazed by

their determination to

in

New York.

survivalists.

"New

Armageddon. They have

concealed themselves throughout the United States

and are stockpiling food, water, and supplies to

them

for months. Many,

in fact,

are better

last

armed than

our law enforcement agencies. (One correspondent


his group has formed units that would
shame Ranger and SEAL teams.) Their arsenals, which

boasted that

include assault

and grenades.

fight

Al-Fuqra

sponded with several

coming to an end

have to

1,000-

located on the

are strategically buried inside waterproof containers,

is

the forces of

evil

dur-

Armageddon. (Trust me, you will hear more about


them as we approach the year 2000.) In preparation,
they have established compounds in remote areas of
ing

and

compound in
And the largest

the United States, the

in
is

terrorists.

have the so-called "survivalists,"

are convinced that the world

346-acre
Virginia.

Colorado, South Carolina, California, and

World Order" and


ing

Illinois

in

white supremacist group

Osage River in
Missouri. The concept of entrenchment is not lost on

acre "Schell City,"

6 bombings linked to the

Bureau of Imestigation

located near Licking, Missouri, as

Virginia. Similarly, the

National Alliance

For

Defense League has

well as paramilitary training facilities

West

States.

rifles,

machine guns, automatic

many have

Additionally,

pistols

night-vision

devices, anti-personnel mines and chemical warfare

equipment

at their disposal.

When

the time comes,

they won't think twice about putting these tools of

war

to use

no matter who's

in

their way.

27

t^ip^'

m^^:

CHAPTER TWO
Monitoring Terrorists

".
.

Remember, we only have to be

lucky always."lrish Republican

lucky once. You will have to be

Army 1984 statement

after a failed

assassination attempt of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

The
and

best defense against terrorism


that's

where

intelligence

comes

government agencies involved

in

is

advance warning,

into play.There are 25

defeating terrorism

in

the

United States. Many of these agencies play an important


role

in

the intelligence web, quietly monitoring the where-

abouts of

known or suspeaed

world. Through

and

infiltration

terrorists

around the

high-tech

surveillance

methods, they discover what plans terrorist groups have

and then work with other agencies to

foil

them.

were assigned

"lead agency" status

against terrorism. The FBI


interdicting,

and

United States.

It

is

in

the fight

responsible for preventing,

investigating terrorist activities in the

is

know

it.

In

way

November

to get the world's attention, and


1

996, three terrorists took control

off the coast of

Grand Comore when

people aboard, including the three


the Federal Aviation Administration
rorist incidents that

occur aboard

it

in

terrorists. In
is

the Indian

ran out of

Ocean

fuel, killing

25

the United States,

responsible for handling ter-

aircraft.

SFTomojczyk

also has the authority to arrest those

whose deadly actions involve Americans, regardless of


where the act occurs. Meanwhile, the Department of
State

Plane hijackings are a great


terrorists

of an Ethiopian Airlines 767. The plane crashed

During the Reagan Administration, three federal


agencies

responsible for incidents that take place outside

the United States.


units,

It

orchestrates the use of military

such as Delta Force and DevGroup,

in

countert-

errorist actions overseas.


It's

impossible to prevent every act of terronsm from occurnng,

but there are things that can be done to reduce the


basic
ing

method

is

risk.

One

The

third

player

to keep an eye out for explosives, such as check-

aboard

aircraft in flight.

allowed

Center

in

the underside of a vehicle

w'\\h a

to pass through a security area.

U.S.

mirror before

Army

it is

is

the

Federal

Aviation

Administration (FAA), which handles acts of terrorism

Atlantic City,

The FAA

New

also has a Technical

Jersey, that develops sys-

tems and devices to prevent aviation-related

hijacking

29

Key Assets Used

in the Fight

Against Terrorists

ANTITERRORIST ALERT CENTER


The Navy's Antiterrorist Alert Center

is

hidden behind a locked, reinforced door on the fourth

The

floor of a nondescript brick building, overlooking the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C. To

enter you need to have the right security clearance,

Once

ID card.

inside,

country experts

you are confronted by a

who keep

the right codes, and possess the right

Investigative Service,

ATAC

is

Yard

far

make attractive targets to temonsts.The Navy also has conventional and


some temonsts would love to get their hands on.The center was established

All

comers of the

nuclear

ATAC

Hizballah's

produces a

in

Barracks

imagery and so on."NCIS has

In

special agents at

drug

interdiction, criminal activities

the event of an impending attack, or

Report) to

all

visit;

will

escort you out. Sf Tomajczyk

that

December 983
1

the numerous armed


stop you and politely

in

officers in

Greece and Central America.

Beirut

summary of terrorist activity around the world, and periodically conducts in-depth analysis on a country, termay impact Navy personnel.The center collects intelligence from field agents, intercepted signals, photographs,
every major naval

of the Antiterronst Alert Center "Collecting intelligence on terronst


counter-intelligence,

in

pected
guards

daily

nonst group, or trend that


satellite

Manne

bloody attack on the

Washington Navy

Washington, D.C. Don't

globe.

weapons

response to a number of terrorist acts directed against the Navy, including the murders of naval

marked

in

Alert

this brick

even think about paying an unex-

the Navy has hundreds of ships and thousands of personnel dispersed to the

also

Antiterrorist

hidden inside

responsible for providing warn-

of potential terrorist attacks that threaten Navy personnel or assets worldwide. At any given time,

That year

is

building at the

and

track of terrorist threats around the world.

Operated by the Naval Cnminal


ings

know

bustling office of intelligence officers, analysists,

Navy's

Center

affected naval

commands

if

installation

activities

is

around the world," says

just

one aspect of

anything that potentially could be a threat to

a terrorist act occurs that has consequence,

LCDR

their jobs.

ATAC

Steven

They

Pagett Chief

are also involved

Department of the Navy

can send out an alert

in

assets."

(a.k.a.

Spot

within 25 minutes.

Commanders of naval amphibious readiness groups and battle groups are briefed by ATAC intelligence officers about potential
may encounter before they set sail.They are then updated as conditions warrant and as the group of warships
moves from one theater to another (e.g., sailing from the Pacific Ocean into the Indian Ocean). Terrorist threats change from region

terrorist threats they

to region.

ATAC was

the

first

Marine Corps personnel

Agency Coast Guard,

24-hour antiterrorism watch

who work

State

12-hour

shifts,

Department and the

in

the U.S. intelligence community. The actual watch

around the

U.S. Special

clock. Today, the CIA,

Intelligence

is

stood by Navy and

Agency National

Security

Command supplement ATAC's efforts with their own


other only ATAC is dedicated to protecting naval assets.

Operations

hour command centers. Although they share information with each

Defense

24-

31

One
is

other computer database worth mentioning

the Treasury Enforcement Communications System

(TECSII). This system contains descriptions and pass-

port information about people


picions

who

have aroused sus-

on the part of Customs or INS agents when

they presented themselves at a port of entry. TECSII

enforcement databases

linked to law

50

in all

is

states.

INTERPOUThe World's Watchman


On

day-to-day basis, there are several agencies

that stand quiet

vigil in

defense against acts of terror-

ism. Perhaps the largest

tered
tion

in

of

the International Criminal

is

(INTERPOL), which

Police Organization

INTERPOL

Cloud, France.

St.

headquar-

is

is

an associa-

142 countries that share information with

each other and provide mutual assistance


crimes.

international

member

Each

deterring

in

nation

has

National Central Bureau that serves as the liaison

The

Center

Counterterrorist

CIA's

Headquarters

in

is

located

CIA

at

Langiey.Virginia.The center constantly monitors

the whereabouts of knovi^n and suspected terrorists around the


world. Other sections at the CIA are also involved

errorism

activities,

such as

in

countert-

infiltrating foreign terrorist

groups to

learn of their future plans. U.S. Central Intelligence Agency

between that country's law enforcement agencies and

INTERPOL

network. The U.S. bureau

known

as

ism information, including criminal records check, sus-

the United States National Central Bureau (USNCB).

pect descriptions, license and auto checks, addresses,

the

It is

a separate

Justice.

The

is

agency within the U.S. Department of

chief

USNCB

of the

reports

to

the

Associate Attorney General.


All

and passport

ples of the

thousands of cases the

USNCB

Only two

criteria

USNCB

First,

must be met

in

USNCB

order for the

INTERPOL member

and second, the request must


investigation,

even

if it

Messages come to the

FAX, computer
radio system.

link,

must meet

USNCB

by

on

country;

a priority rating according to

its

urgency

is

the years, the

U.S.

Border Patrol requested a criminal

An

USNCB

has provided

law

his-

who was apprehended

bomb.

unidentified country requested information


in

the United States that

and the use of

explosives and firearms.


International cooperation also resulted

in

in

1984. Swiss police arrested a Lebanese

the disin

Rome

man

at the

covery of a plot to blow up the U.S. Embassy

enforcement agencies worldwide with counterterror-

32

The information was

offers training in guerrilla warfare

All terrorist-

"critical urgent."

Over

alert advising of information

hijacking.

about a school located

assigned

related messages are assigned a priority level of'urgent"

or

The

carrying a

telephone,

INTERPOL

received, each

planned

tory check on a person

six criteria.

or the international

As messages are

received from airline sources.

specific criminal

mail,

PLO

the hijacking of the Achille

Lauro.

relate to an international

does not involve a

in

The FAA sent out an

incident or provide details of a crime. By contrast, requests

for non-terrorist information

exam-

has been

that foreign authorities hold the

terrorists involved

the request must be from a legitimate

law enforcement agency or

just four

USNCB

The Department of Justice requested through the

are

to respond to a request for counterterrorist

information:

data.

involved with:

requests for information from the

screened to ensure that the request complies with certain


criteria.

Here are

fingerprints,

Zurich airport after finding 2 pounds of explosives

in his

SF

Tomqayk

AIRPORT SECURITY
Compared

to the rest of the world, airline security

in

the United States

is

lax.

Of

the 600 commerical service airports

United States, most use antiquated X-ray machines, few interrogate passengers about themselves and/or their

none have scanners that can detect

nearly

people out.This careless atmosphere

"Once people

Once you

plastic explosives. In fact,

often

worse

it's

airport

a small

more important to
may have only one

airports don't even have fences around

them to keep

which worries many aviation experts.

beef up security at smaller airports around the United States than larger ones.
security person and very

little

equipment. They may not even X-ray your bag.

pass through, you're never checked again. You're behind the security network. You're free to

or wherever without any further checking. This

More maddening
In

some

small airports,

in

the

and

get through security, they're behind the security network nationwide," says Fred Testa, director of the Manchester

Airport. "For this reason,

For example,

is

in

itinerary,

is

where

fly

to Chicago, Los Angeles,

terrorists can easily enter the system."

than this lackadaisical approach to security

is

the fact that the government

knows the

airports aren't safe.

recent security checks, undercover agents from the FAA's Inspector General's offlce were able to gain entry to secure areas

of selected airports 40 to 75 percent of the time. In fact,

one agent even managed to

slip

an unarmed hand grenade through

metal detector.

Another roadblock
not be

fully

aware of

receive the warning.

it.

In

in

security

know

an effort to boost airline

all

possibilities,

safety.

compartments and cabins of

One

a terrorist act

is

imminent and the government knows

including the airport director

has

it,

an airport may

a security clearance to

which stretches security to the

limit.

Not

a very effective

way to

save

lives.

government

cult to detect. In fact, they can


flight

it."

all

planes flying

show

photo

in

new

security measures

in

996. This included such efforts

and out of the United States, tougher scrutiny of

ID. Efforts

are also underway to design a

is

trying to get plastic explosive "sniffers"

be molded to look

103 over Lockerbie.

The

are receiving these detectors

like

everyday items.

highest risk airports

first.

Keep your

the

It

in

19 so-called

luggage,

vital

systems.

each airport. Plastic explosives are very

was such

fingers crossed that the

all

bomb-proof luggage com-

design features "blow-out" panels, which direct a bomb's blast away from passengers and the plane's

Additionally, the

Am

if

at the airport

President Clinton implemented

screening of mail, and passengers having to

partment.

LAX

one

to see better information sharing." says Testa. "Perhaps giving key airport personnel a security clearance so they can

as inspecting baggage

Pan

often no

what's going on and can respond quickly to


In

more

the fact that even

these cases, the airport may be told that "something's going to happen." Because the specifics are not given,

the airport then has to prepare for


"I'd like

is

Why? Because

a devise

modified radio

"Category X" airports

machines are passed out

like

fast

diffi-

that blew up

JFK. Dulles, and

enough. By their

nature, terrorists are opportunists.

33

THE DOGS OF
Dogs play a

major role

Service, Park

depend on the

in

WAR

the fight against terrorism. The Secret Service.

Police, the

military,

Customs

Dogs can detect an odor

and numerous law enforcement agencies

dog's keen sense of smell to find

bombs hidden

by terrorists and

igwer than

other wackos.

The

them

U.S. Secret Service (USSS),

taries, has

the largest canine

bomb

which protects the President and other

detection unit

in

the nation. Established

in

digni-

ideal

at

con-

LOOOto lOO.OOOtimes

centrations

to

humans. This
sniff

by terrorists

makes

out bombs hid-

US hmy

1975,

Canine Explosives Detection Teams search structures, vehicles, and individuals for
is comprised of about 30 dog/handler teams, which spend 80 percent of their time doing
German Shepherd Dogs and
detection work and 20 percent performing patrol duties. The USSS gets its dogs
from a breeder in the Netherlands.
Belgian Malinois
Training, which lasts 20 to 26 weeks, is done at the Secret Service's Canine Training Facility in Beltsville,
Maryland. Here, the dogs learn how to deal with obstacles (e.g., ladders, windows, catwalks) and how to chase down
3 types of explosives, including RDX and Semtex. Unlike drug-detecting dogs,
a suspect. They also are taught to find

various threats. The unit

which are trained to bite or scratch a suspect package, USSS dogs are taught to sit when they find a potential explosive. The last thing you want a dog to do is bite and shake a bomb.
At the end of training, the dogs and their handlers join the canine patrol corps. But this does not mean that formal instruction has come to an end. Every dog returns to the Beltsville facility each week for a full day refresher
course. This recertification effort is much tougher than that of other agencies. It is justified, however, since the consequences of a Secret Service dog failing in the field are much more dire.
A dog's ability to detect an explosive is determined by temperature, humidity, air currents and eddies, and so
on. The handler plays a key role in working the dog in a search pattern that takes advantage of air movements and
in

reading changes

in

the dog's behavior that

may

signal a possible detection.

dog

is

never punished for a

false alert.

Overall, the Secret Service's dogs detect hidden plastic explosives 75 percent of the time or better Although
that figure is not as good as 100 percent, it is still much better than never finding them. It's important to note that
the canines are not the sole means used by the Secret Service to find explosives. They are just one tool of an overall

34

bomb

detection effort.

Rome

and an address

notified,

and they arrest-

possession, as well as a ticket to


there. Authorities

in Italy

were

ed seven Lebanese students


Jihad.

During the

who

arrests, the police

had

ties

tine

arm

of the CIA, uses

trained spies to collect for-

its

conduct covert operations. More

eign intelligence and

often than not, this requires

to Islamic

found a detailed map

a terrorist group

infiltrating

Directorate

Meanwhile, the

overseas.

&

Science

of

video enhance-

of the U.S. Embassy with notes and arrows identifying

Technology develops technologies

guard positions, security cameras, and barriers. The

ment, laser communications, and

entrance to a garage located under the Marine barracks

used to collect information about terrorist activities.They

which lead the police to believe that

are also responsible for processing and analyzing signals

was

also labeled,

the terrorists intended a suicide truck bombing.

intelligence

and

usable by other

The CIA's Role


USNCB

the

Counterterrorism Center (CTC)

on the

thy sentinel. Located

the

CIA

CTC

building

aside,

CIAs

the

to

intelligence

make

it

such as those assigned to the

Since the center's creation,

numerous terrorism

another notewor-

is

^2,000,000

travels,

in

1987

it

in

track

FBI

hijacked a Royal Jordanian airliner at

Beirut International Airport and then

around the world, 24 hours a

day When a terrorist

has been involved

example,

down Fawaz
Lebanese terrorist who had

the

Younis, a

Langley, Virginia,

in

it

cases. For

helped

sixth floor

monitors the whereabouts of

terrorists

analysts,

that can be

satellites)

Directorate of Intelligence.

INTERPOL and

of the

photographic

CIA

(e.g.,

blown

the center

it

up

after releasing passengers,

to

whom were Americans.


The CTC was also involved in coor-

either refuse entry to the terrorist or,

dinating the United States' investigation

alerts
ule.

if

he

each country on
permits

This

is

wanted

The

CTC

the

two

sched-

countries

is

arrives.

staffed by

more than
MIRAIMUKANSI

200 CIA employees.

In

of

of the

for a crime, have him

when he

arrested

his travel

988 midair bombing of Pan

103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which

killed

259 passengers and crew mem-

bers. The center

addition, there

are a dozen or so people assigned to

that Libyan

the center from other federal agencies,

in

including

the

Defense and

Agency The

FBI,

the

center,

which

is

intelligence

in

1986 by CIA Director William Casey.

He wanted

to bring together each of

terrorism

and coordinate the CIA's

efforts with

other agencies.

bring

Department of
lion for

to

terrorists

justice,

service to the center's overall countert-

errorism

effort.

For

example,

Aimal

two

the

Directorate of Operations, the clandes-

CIA

$2

State offers up to

worked with law enforcement

the

directed against the Allies.

mil-

recorded some

information leading to the arrest

Kansi, a Pakistani v^'ho

civilians

building

is

of Mir

murdered

and wounded three others

with an AK-47 as they

Each directorate provides a unique

of

myriad of terrorist actions that were


To

of a wanted militant.This poster

the CIA's four directorates to address

air attack

agencies around the world to thwart a

and

hostage negotiators, was established

1986

retaliation for the

CTC

essentially

officers,

officials

able to determine

ordered the bombing

And, during the 1991 Gulf War, the

Security

an aggregate of psychiatrists, explosives

experts,

was

Tripoli by U.S. military forces.

Department of
National

Am

flight

on January

work

left

25,

993.

at

the

He was

more

The Center

20 terrorist acts and

than 100 terrorist threats

in

the

months immediately following the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. The terrorist


group known as
responsible

for

17
5

November was
of

terrorist

15

Coalition

targets

arrested overseas and brought back to

attacks

against

the United States by the FBI's Hostage

Greece

alone, including the assassina-

Rescue Team

tion of a U.S.

in

June

997. SF Jomajczyk

Army

in

sergeant.

35

^JPr

CHAPTER THREE

The Covert Commandos:


Delta Force And DevGroup
"Terrorists don't operate by any rules."

Dick Marcinko Founder, SEAL Team Six

been written about Delta Force

Entire bool<s have

and SEAL Team

Six.

these units so that

Hence, this book only highlights


more information about impor-

domestic

tant-but-little-known

counterterrorist

teams can be featured.

As mentioned
is

overseas.

It

an act of terrorism occurs

orchestrates the military

they are deployed


the President,

Department

previously, the State

when

the. lead agency

who

is

CT

forces once

consultation and approval of

in

the commander-in-chief of the

United States' armed forces. Within the


establishment

itself,

these

elite units

by the Joint Special Operations

which,

in

turn,

Operations

is

component

are controlled

Command

in

Delta's 30-day selection process

(JSOC)

of the U.S. Special

Command (USSOCOM). JSOC

quartered at PopeAFB,

military

is

head-

grueling,

v^^ith

cise to

SEALs storm the bridge of

hone

only about a 1-

a ship during a training exer-

their maritime assault tactics.

When

doing such a

takedown, SEALs constantly move toward the bridge so that


they can take control of the
of a

SEAL

SEALs

in

Anyone who

ship.

"train" in a corridor

is

literally

gets

run over

in

The

the way
last

two

the train stop to handcuff and secure the person, and

then catch up with the others.

North Carolina.

is

Assault!

U.S.

Navy

By law, military forces cannot be used


domestic incidents unless the President issues

in

to 3-percent pass rate. Candidates endure painful confidence


courses,

8-mile speed marclies, and a host of other nasty tasks

intended to break them mentally physically and emotionally

Those who pass

selection

undergo

five

months of intense

training at "Wally World," Delta's training facility U.S.

Army

CT

However, after the Sarin


gas attacks in Japan, in 1995, and with the evergrowing threat of Super Terrorism, pressure has
increased to permit the military to respond to
directive permitting

it.

37

chemical and biological terrorist attacks on U.S.

Advocates point out that the military already

soil.

has the proper training and equipment for such


missions. Only time will

tell

if

legislation will pass

through Congress.
Following

a quick look at the military's elite

is

counterterrorism forces.

U.S. Army 1st Special Forces Operational

Detachment-Delta
Popularly

known

as Delta

Force and

Applications Group, this

elite unit

less

often as

or

Combat

was the

brainchild

Combat Development Branch

the

of Col. Charles Beckwith, a Special Forces officer

who

had once served with the British SAS

Beckwith

1960s.
States
gical

needed

team to

in

the

was convinced that the United


fight terrorists,

conduct sur-

behind-the-lines operations, gather intelligence,

and provide unconventional options to low-intensity

Carter

the

Fortunately,

situations.

conflict

Administration saw a need for this as well; terrorists

were having

An
ists
Its

a field day

seemed

around the world

at the time.

force specially trained to defeat terror-

elite U.S.

ideal.

Delta Force was activated

in

1977.

"coming-out" exercise was conducted at a remote

27-acre

North Carolina, where the group had

site in

to simultaneously assault a building and an aircraft

and rescue the hostages. The


just

aircraft

takedown, done

before midnight, took Delta only 30 seconds. As

for the building. Delta blew the doors off their hinges

and cleared each room within seven seconds. The


exercise

The

went

flawlessly.

first

Delta operators were selected mainly

Delta was operational.

from Army Special Forces


7 of the

30

who took

(a.k.a.

part

Green

in

the

Berets).
first

Only

selection

course were kept. The second selection process

which broadened
es of the

Army

its

search to include other branch-

wasn't

much

better: only 5 of 60

Becoming a Delta Force operator requires a tremendous amount


of training, including helicopter insertion techniques. Here, soldiers
practice rappelling

38

from a Black Hawk helicopter

U.S.

Army

made

it.

By the third course, 4 out of 70 made it.The


1

high attrition rate attests to the strenuous nature of


Delta's selection course,

Today's

which persists to

this day.

endure a 30-day selection

candidates

process that features

confidence courses,

18-mile

bulletproof vest, placed

around

Service agents

navigation

wilderness

through rugged tracts of

exercise

Camp

at

Dawson

(West

Virginia),

Uwharrie National Forest (North Carolina), or

AFB (Nevada)

in

Nellis

20 hours, and a 4-hour-long interro-

gation by a board of Delta veterans. Only the

of the crop are invited to

go

stay.

Those

9 weeks of intense basic training

counterterrorist

that are under-

where they

learn

such as close-quarters battle,

skills,

and seizure techniques, rappelling, lock-

infiltration

picking, covert intelligence gathering,

parachuting,

HALO/HAHO

hostage-rescue

aircraft

explosive breaching methods.

hand-to-hand combat
tics,

cream

assaults,

They are

and

also taught

small boat insertion tac-

skills,

explosive ordnance disposal, high-speed driving

techniques, and high-tech surveillance methods.

Room
tion

in a

clearing

drills

shooting house

are

done using

(a.k.a.

live

of Horrors) cluttered with furniture and

real

pasted to them. Each

terrorists

mannequin

shooting house

is

room

of the

designed to present a different

hostage situation for the operators to overcome


aircraft, night fighting).

The

(e.g.,

trainees practice assaults

training

is

vision

dangerous

When George

and movement restrictions. The

accidents do happen.

He was

in

bullet

ricocheting

him. Delta insisted that they


gical

fragment

could

One
kill

were trained to do

sur-

No

one

shooting under stress and pressure.

would get

the

invited to sit as a hostage,

but the Secret Service had serious reservations.


errant

The Secret Service still wasn't conwanted to do it. So they reached a


compromise: They dressed the vice president in a
hurt.

vinced, but Bush

side

jail.

The Stockade, a

nine acre site that

was

known as "The
of some operators

Ranch," because of the propensity

cowboy boots and chew tobacco. Delta

had a special compound on Mott Lake at

Ft.

unit later built a multi-million dollar Special

Training

facility

(SOT), which

Operations

often referred to as

is

"Wally World" after the theme park mentioned

Chevy Chase movie.

also

Bragg.The

(This facility

in

also called "Fiesta

is

its stucco siding.) The SOT features


numerous indoor and outdoor weapons ranges
(including the Range 19 complex of sniping, combat pis-

Cantina" after

tol

CQB gunfighting

and

borne

insertions, an

Once

ranges), training areas for heli-

here that the

It is

& Intelligence Center,


new operators train.

Operations

the five-month indoctrination course

is

completed, the trainees are assigned to a Delta

squadron and team.

men

troops of 16
ure

itself

squadron

into 8-, 4-, or

the mission.

In

is

comprised of four

each. Each troop

some

is

able to config-

2-man teams depending upon

instances, the

teams are orga-

nized by specialty, such as mountaineering or highaltitude parachuting.

Contrary to popular

belief,

of today's 800 or so

Delta Force members, there are female operators.

Females are assigned to an intelligence detachment

Bush was vice president, he want-

ed to witness Delta Force do a takedown


shooting house.

two armed Secret


of him. Somewhat

expanded, was affectionately

to wear

wearing different types of gear so that they become

accustomed to

Bragg

Ft.

later

ammuni-

terrorists/hostages. The targets often have pictures of

on either

bulletproof shield

clear

Delta Force was originally headquartered at the


old

and more.

Haunted House, House

positioned

amused, Delta operators carried out their assault


demonstration without incident.

speed marches carrying a 55-pound pack, a 40-mile


land

and

him,

known

as the

"Funny Platoon." They serve as

gence operatives,

infiltrating

gets for the assault forces. Four

through Delta Force training


left

after their

intelli-

countries to recon tar-

in

women made

it

the early 1980s, but

male counterparts hounded them out.

An attempt was made again in 990; five women


ified and are now serving in the Funny Platoon.
1

qual-

Delta's counterterrorism skills are kept sharp by

regular

cross-training

forces, including SAS,

exercises

with

other

CT

GSG-9, and GIGN.

39

have. The prisoners, hearing rumors that Delta Force


was coming in after them, quickly surrendered. Who
says

cons don't have brains?


Since Delta's inception,

its

missions,

been kept

many

has been successful

it

of which

For example,

quiet.

wounded

political

stormed the

aircraft

captured the

photo of Delta Force, taken during the December 1989

rare

invasion of Pananfia to capture General Manuel Noriega. During

being held hostage

prison. The assault

piloted by the

in

Panama's notoripus Modelo

team was inserted by MH-6

60th

SOAR.

mini-helicopters,

hmy

U.S.

the morning of March 3

and

killed

Delta

four terrorists and

Their assault was approved by

fifth.

President Ronald Reagan just hours before he himself

was shot by John


In

the operation, Delta rescued American businessman Kurt Muse,

who was

the release of 85

was flown out to resolve

prisoners. Delta

On

dealing with the

in

who were demanding

the incident.

and

shot and

The Thai government

during the hijacking.

asked the United States for help


terrorists,

1981, an

five terrorists

An American was

Bangkok.

in

March

in

Indonesian airliner was hijacked by

forced to land

in

understandablyhave

Hinkley.

August 1984,

Venezuelan

DC-9 was

hijacked

way to the island of Curacao.


The terrorists demanded $5 million for the safe
release of the 79 hostages. The government in the
by two terrorists on

its

Netherlands Antilles requested assistance from the


Delta Force has also had a long and close relationship with the FBI's Hostage Rescue
It

was the

In

FBI that gave Delta

return, years later, Delta shared

tradescraft secrets with the HRT, after


lished
like

1982. Since then, the

in

987, Delta

the President to

it

become

been

in

in

in

Atlanta.

domestic

at the

The HRT was deployed

a similar crisis at

the Oakdale prison

and was unable to break away to address

cri-

federal

at the
in

time

Louisiana
this

new

incident. According to Oliver "Buck" Revella former


assistant director at the FBI, Delta was on the scene

within six
tance.

It

hours of the

was the

first

FBI's initial

time that

in a civilian capacity. Delta

had

the

breaching

assis-

had been used

was needed because they

capability

experience that FBI and local

40

request for

JSOC
and

counter-sniper

SWAT

In

December

killed

both terrorists,

unharmed.

1984, Delta

assist in a hijacking.This

time

was

it

was

again deployed to
a Kuwaiti airliner

that had been hijacked by four terrorists

was granted permission by


involved

Force stormed the aircraft and


freeing the hostages

was estab-

units have

which prisoners were rioting

prison

to

two

blood brothers helping each other out.


In fact, in

sis

Team (HRT).

SWAT training.
its CT skills and

its first

United States, which sent a small team from Delta.


Together with a Venezuelan commando unit. Delta

teams

didn't

believed

to

be

Americans were
craft

affiliated

killed

with

Islamic

during the hijacking.

was flown to Tehran where the


jails.

The

air-

terrorists

release of comrades-in-arms held

demanded the
Kuwaiti

who were
Two

Jihad.

in

Delta Force flew to Masirah Island to

prepare for an assault. For

political reasons,

they had

to wait for the plane to leave Iran to initiate their

takedown. But

it

never happened: Iranian

stormed the plane and captured the


Although Delta is essentially a
forms
it

a host of

provided

other mission

security

at

the

commandos

terrorists.

CT

profiles.

1984

unit,

it

per-

For example,

Los Angeles

Olympics, the Statue of Liberty Centennial celebra-

tion

behind

SAS went

Iraqi lines

to hunt

down

SS-I

SCUD

launchers so they could be destroyed by

The team

missile

air strikes.

also regularly furnishes protective details

for high-ranking military officers and diplomats, espe-

who

those

cially

serve

in

America, where violence

the Middle East or Central


is

commonplace.

To respond quickly to incidents


East,

in

crisis

from

Ft.

Although

tire

on

in a

Regiment

Special

(a.ka. Nightstalkers)

the Air Force's


Special Tactics

Operations Aviation

and "Green Berets," and

6th Special Operations

Wing and 720th

Group. The Nightstalkers and 16th

(e.g.,

Force

(especially

provide Delta with transportation into harms way

MH-6

Little

Bird,

SOW
via

the

MC-I30H

from

6 helicopters. These "Linle Birds," which are reportedly

its

way

secreted away

in Virginia,

are used for undercover trans-

portation; they have fake civilian markings.

around. During the 1991 Gulf War, special operations forces

remote area of the desert to practice

Navy SEAL Teams

DevGroup), the Army's 160th

shooting houses are no longer considered to De state-oi-tne-art, tney ao

is

with

Combat Talon, MH-53J Pave Low). Supplementing this is


Delta's own mini air force of a dozen or so AH-6 and MH-

Bragg.

nothing else

house

flying

counterterrorist missions. Delta

closely

in

the Middle

early intelligence

scene to the rest of Delta,

works

use of special aircraft

Delta maintains a small forward-deployed unit

Germany. This team provides


the

On many

1986, and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. During

in

the 1991 Gulf War, Delta Force and the

CT

and

CQB tactics.

U.S.

(e.g.,

Amy

come

in

handy when you need to practice and

Delta Force, DevGroup, "Green Berets") built this

tire

member

i-iii-ie a

of DevGroup. you

basic training course held in


say,

you don't gotta

Training (STT). U.S.

like

Coronado,

you

it,

have to

first

become

just gotta

do

it.

All

new SEALs

remote area of

on

Ft.

a mission,

Bragg,

or the Air Force's

980 before heading to

mentioned

mon

the

Eglin

choreography.

not unusual for

it is

Iran

on

AFB

In fact,

Peary

(Florida) to prac-

they

at

built a

Camp

model

Peary

their rescue mission.

the next few chapters,

in

Camp

CIA's

compound

of the Tehran embassy


1

this

is

fairly

in

As

com-

practice throughout the counterterrorist arena.

U.S.

Navy SEALs and DevGroup

Formerly known as SEAL Team

Six,

this

unit

SEAL Team Six commander


Richard Marcinko published the book Rogue Warrior,
in 1992, about his military experiences. The Navy felt

changed

that

the

its

name

after

book, an

international

bestseller

that

revealed the inner workings of this unit, brought too

42

drills

on a

raw,

stormy day But

as

they

SEAL Tactical

Navy

Prior to deploying

(Virginia),

perform small boat

receive counterterrorism training following BUD/S, during

Delta Force to build mock-ups of their target at a

tice their assault

SEAL. And that means having to survive BUD/S, an arduous 16-\Neek

California. In this photo, candidates

much

attention to

SEAL Team

spotlight, naval special warfare


cials

Six.

To get out of the

(NAVSPECWAR)

gave the team an innocuous sounding

Development Group, or DevGroup


buried

it

in

offi-

title

for short

and

the organizational charts. This allowed the

Navy's public

affairs staff

to honestly

tell

the public

SEAL Team Six did not exist.


And yet it does. This so-called "public secret" is
known by just about everyone in the military and law
enforcement community. DevGroup is the old SEAL
Team Six, with essentially the same mission and
that

responsibilities.

SEAL Team
months after the
in

Iran.

Six

was established

failed

in

1980, just

attempt to free U.S. hostages

Dick Marcinko,

who was

assigned

to the

Pentagon at the time, working on a follow-up rescue


plan, added a nonexistent SEAL element to the joint

task force plan. The plan

was eventually approved and

Marcinko received permission to create SEAL Team


ghost

Six, his

carried out

unit.

Although the rescue plan was never

the hostages were

took the

Reagan

oath

became operational

released as Ronald

President

as

January 1981.

in

the

Its

team

certification

mission involved recovering a stolen nuclear device

from

terrorists.

performed

SEAL

Six sent

high-altitude,

jump from an

aircraft at night,

the objective: Vieques

Puerto

Rico.

56 operators

and glided 10 miles to


seven

Island,

Needless to

They

in.

high-opening parachute

say,

the

miles

east

was

assault

of
a

tremendous success.

SEAL Team

Six (a.k.a.

The Mob)

established

Combat Training Center

(Virginia).

its

Dam Neck
facilities

It's

the forward compartment. This

in

SEAL Delivery

Vehicle (SDV)

is

propelled at six knots by an electric motor and features an on-

board breathing/intercom system.

It

can be transported world-

Dry Deck

million pistol/rifle range with an attached helicopter

Sturgeon- and Ethan Allen-class submarines.

The

unit,

which

administratively

is

Group Two, but

attached to Naval Special Warfare

the rear

and navigator

include a $4 million indoor pool complex, and a $3.1

pad.

in

pilot

wide by surface ships or

landing

a target. The 21-

combat sw/immers

compartment, while being operated by a

headquarters and training complex at the


Fleet

The Mark VIII transports SEALs undewaterto


foot-long mini-sub holds four

in

oped to use SDVs to do

Achi/le Louro in 1985. U.S.

Novy

Shelters atop modified

plan

was devel-

sneak attack on the passenger

liner

from JSOC, made a commitment to deploy within four hours notice to anywhere
receives

in

directives

its

the world. The team's operators

ing

SEAL Teams. They

sions

and

rig

Those of you who

sometimes referred to

have seen Star Wars

in

5,

as"Jedi."

know

why.

SEAL Teams receive


counterterrorism. (Some, like SEAL Teams

should be noted that

training

and

mis-

takedowns. The operators are so highly

trained, that they are

It

exist-

CT

the maritime arena, such as ship boardings

in

oil

come from

train exclusively for

all

regularly use paintball guns for close-quar-

combat exercises.) This training allows forwarddeployed SEAL platoons to respond to a terrorist
incident and either resolve it or manage it until

ters

DevGroup
Like

arrives.

all

CT

elite

forces,

DevGroup does

tremendous amount of shooting and


ing. Its

operators climb

parachute

in

AFB

Mid-South

in

the Gulf of Mexico,

CQB

Florida,
Institute

drills in a

all

over

remote corner of

and do combat shooting at the


in

Huey

rigged for rappelling insertions.

Note

that both opera-

tors are equally balanced outside the helicopter to keep

Arizona, chase and board ships

the world, conduct


Eglln

oil rigs in

specialized train-

Mississippi.

The team

also

At

command, they

one drops before the


tion,

will

it

steady.

drop simultaneously to the ground.

other, the helicopter can

be thrown

If

off sta-

and potentially cause one or both of the operators to lose

control. U.S.

Deportment of Defense

43

cross-trains with the SAS, SBS,

GSG-9, and

GIGN

on

DevGroup

a fairly regular basis.

And,

trains with the FBI's

Hostage Rescue Team, sharing

like

Delta Force,

knowledge with them about maritime

underwater reconnaissance techniques.


Actually, the relationship between SEAL
the FBI was begun even before the
In

HRT was

its

and

assaults

and

Six

formed.

the early 1980s, Norwegian cruise lines was con-

cerned about maritime terrorism.


FBI and invited

one

on

Norwegian

the

of

It

contacted the

to stage a rescue training exercise

it

could "play" aboard the ship as

it

was

in

SEAL Team

Six

which

ships,

Jacksonville for a refitting.The FBI and

sailed to Miami.

So

a scenario was developed: FBI terrorists would take

control of the ship and take the crew hostage and

SEAL Team

who
A

no

sight

etly

terrorist

wants to see;

fire

team of four SEALs

emerges from the water armed with MPS submachine

SEALs and DevGroup provided maritime


games held

in

security at the

qui-

guns,

Olympic

Los Angeles and Atlanta. They ensured that

Olympic venue water bodies were


booby-trapped by

terrorists.

safe for competition,

They provided

and not

mander

was appointed

of the HRT,

as the lead ter-

He was in the ship's bridge watching the radar


when
the assault occurred in the middle of the
scope
he knew both sides of the sceEven
though
night.
nario (he had to, to prevent accidents from happen-

he was

ing),
in

would do an assault. John Simeone,


later would become deputy com-

rorist.

similar services dur-

1996 Republican National Convention

ing the

Six

few years

San Diego. SITU

shocked by the speed and violence

still

of the takedown.

"Not

until

the

last

minute did you

hear

really

were downwind of the


avoid detection. They
water
over
the
to
flying
low
ship,
off the assault
second,
dropped
the
last
flared up at
them," he

said. The

helicopters

teams and were gone. Simultaneously,

came

raiding

craft

alongside the ship and operators climbed aboard


ladders and

caving

using

extendible

painter

poles.

Within seconds, the entire ship was under attack.

SEAL

Six hit hard

one

stration,

operations
In

The

Fast Attack Vehicle

is

"shoot and scoot" missions.


.50 caliber

The

2,

mph,
agility

It

00-pound FAV

is

it

a perfect
prairie.

pair of

and

is

for

armed with

7.62-mm machine

guns.

capable of driving cross-country at 80

as well as traversing sand

makes

DevGroup

Jelta and

seats three

machine gun and/or a

the desert or

44

berms more than 6

CT weapon

STTU

for

feet high.

open environments,

by

fast. It was an impressive demonSimeone would remember for future

and

when he would be with

the HRT.

985, the cruise ship Achilk Lauro was hijacked

four

Front.

to

that

terrorists

SEAL Team

Sicily

dence,

to be

in

in

from the Palestine

Six

Liberation

and Delta Force were deployed

case an assault was needed. By coinci-

SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) team happened

Its

the

Med on

a training exercise, just a

few

like

hours away from the

ship.

SDVs

are mini-submarines

CQB

SEALs

practice doing

for the

SEALs to maneuver themselves and theirvi'eapons.A determined

is

not taken. For

room

in

and room-clearing

this reason,

that manner.

CT

drills in

a makeshift shooting house. Hallways are dangerous since there


terrorist can

wipe out an entire

forces sometimes resort to blowing holes through the walls

(a.k.a.

assault

team

in

is

limited space

a hallway

if

care

mouseholes) and moving room to

STTU

SEALs underwater. A plan


was drawn up in which this particular SDV team
would approach the Achille Lauro and either drop off

forces

an assault team of four SEALs or foul the

recognizing that Six had the better equipment and

that covertly transport

ship's

screws with chains so that the ship could not get


underway.

It

seemed

like a

good

plan,

but the terror-

night, using raiding craft

arrived

at

training for a maritime assault.

over, the Italian units

while Six

left

members

of

Another
would

quietly

plan

took

its

place:

board and assault the

SEAL Team
Achille

Six

Lauro at

Once

would take

elite

it

CT

act as backup,

the assault was

over, taking credit

by the proverbial back door And so,


SEAL Team Six gathered aboard the
amphibious assault ship USS Iwo jima in preparation

69-year-old Leon Klinghoffer, an American

underwater assault was dropped.

Italian

GIS and COMSUBIN would

passenger, and forced the ship to head for Egypt. The

ists killed

with silenced engines once

Port Said, Egypt. The

for the takedown. Unfortunately, the Egyptian gov-

ernment negotiated with the

terrorists, offering

them
45

^-.j?T-;- "^^Pf^i^-f.^-

-rfgrfll

'

"^^^^f^V^

''

'i'i^^SSif

K.-'

TT

..J^.

.'.*

Aerial ballet, the

SEAL

way.

SEALs from the water during


if

helicopter

this

Squadrons, two

part

is

Seahawk helicopter plucks two

a training exercise.

of the

Light

NAVSPECWAR

elite

It is

Attack

units

enlisted

Helicopter

two eight-man

(Red Wolves,

Firehawks) that support SEALs on missions. Also, note the tubu-

Dry Deck

lar-shaped

holds SDVs.

on the rear of the submarine;

Shelter

men

DevGroup

pairs.

these

DevGroup
ship and

its

if

they would release the

at the

The

terrorists accepted the

ly

out of Egypt
passengers.

terms, thereby

unwittingly

SEALTeam

halting

Six's

platoon

is

made up

of

squads. The squads themselves, which

Teams of
team having two swim

are color coded, are organized into Fire

around
safe passage

each. (Note:

four men, with each

it

Navy

U.S.

Team: platoons comprised of two officers and 14

not known

fire

likes

organize

to

teams.)

fire

has been involved

Like
in

Olympic Games over the

assaults

its

Delta

Force,

providing security
years.

They

typical-

focus on maritime issues, such as the lakes used

for

water events

like

canoeing. At the 1984 Games,

assault plans with just hours to spare.

they were responsible for securing the port area

The terrorists boarded a 737 (which also had


four members of Egypt's elite military CT unit Force

Los Angeles. DevGroup performed similar duties at

777 aboard), and headed forTunis, which refused the


plane permission to land. They then headed for
Libya,

which also

said

"no" to the

terrorists.

plane turned and headed for Athens,

it

As the

was

inter-

the 1996 Republican Convention

team,

is

It

Sigonella,

Sicily.

SEAL Team

Six

greeted the plane and terrorists with submachine


guns. Six,
forces,

in

turn,

was surrounded by

who demanded

SEALTeam
Force 777

Meanwhile, inside the plane.

Six refused.

commandos

said they

der to anyone, American or


that very

nearly

Italian military

custody of the terrorists.

ended

in

in

counterterrorism.
In

He

has

late-summer

visit

was not

Atlanta and play the role of a terrorist.

a difficult role for

him to assume, since he

had spent years anticipating terrorists' moves. His


efforts

showed law enforcement agencies responsible


Games where to improve their

for security at the

contingency plans.

would not surren-

Italian. It

involved

own company, SOS Temps.

months before the Olympic games, he was

1995,

NATO

in

still

started his

hired to

base

San Diego.

Dick Marcinko, founder and plank owner of the

cepted by four U.S. F-I4s and forced to land at the


air

in

in

was

a standoff

bloodbath had not

George Schultz ordered the


SEALs to stand down and allow the Italians to have
the terrorists. He had received assurances from the
Italian government that the terrorists would stand
Secretary of State

for murder.

trial

Unfortunately,

Rome

allowed the accused mas-

termind, Abu Abbas, to leave the country since he had


an Iraqi diplomatic passport.
including another

who
1

99

fled Italy
)

Today,
in

He and

four others (not

of the terrorist group

while on approved release from

remain at

involved

member

jail

in

has about 300 people and

is

large.

DevGroup

developing

new hostage rescue

tech-

niques

and counterterrorist assault options. The

unit

organized along the

is

lines of a typical

SEAL

Operators practice getting

known

into an assault formation

as "the Train," "the Snake,"

formation allows the team to


(or

in this

and "the Congo

move

case a ship) and clear

commonly

Line."

Such

quickly through a building

rooms of terrorists.

U.S.

Navy

47

48

CHAPTER FOUR

Anywhere, Anytime, Anything:


FBI Hostage Rescue Team
"We're not soldiers or commandos. We're
liave

been trained and tasked

aren't used until

In

the

all

exhausted." Former

one October

of

dents of Albuquerque,

New

the danger they were

in.

nuclear

bomb

detonate

it

in

night,

lives.

We

HRT Member

dozing

resi-

Mexico, never realized

Terrorists

had placed

arrival,

its

members

quickly

established

Operations Center and began to collect

the city and were threatening to

their

if

and foremost FBI agents wtio

the specialized mission of saving

witli

orfier alternatives are

wee hours

first

demands were not met; they had

a Tactical

intelligence.

The main body of the HRT followed along just hours


later in C-130 Hercules aircraft, the cargo bays
bulging with vehicles and special equipment.
In

the ensuing three days, as negotiations took

place, investigators had


rorists' hiding place.

managed to locate the

Nuclear Emergency Search Team (NEST)

Energy's

gamma

taken hostages to prove their point. At the ungodly

had found the nuclear device using

hour of 2 A.M., armed

tors slung from the underside of a helicopter

moving

assault

position. Nationwide, officials

into

their fingers, hoping that

mushroom

a host of federal

action.

off.

If

not,

over the desert.

threat from the terror-

initial

HRT

its

tire

open

shooting house to take

ing a training exercise. The


in

the doorway. Notice

before the smoke has settled.

as

Upon

its

door with explo-

down

little

room
It's

how

all

points

not unusual for a

as 5 to

assault

Now

and defuse

teams

October

night

even

room to be

7 seconds. John Simeone

in a

building

in

found themselves on
creeping among cactus and

this

warm
scorpi-

ons toward the terrorists' stronghold.

From previous surveillance efforts, the operators


knew where all the booby traps were located, as well
as who the terrorists were and what they were
armed with. They even had a good idea of what the
building looked like inside.
replica of the terrorists'

quickly the operators

covering

Albuquerque.

ray detec-

The
downtown
it was time to take down the terthe bomb. Which is why HRT

squirreled away

"terrorists" dur-

team uses linear-shaped charges to cut

have fanned out across the

cleared of tangos

the Hostage Rescue

to Albuquerque.

operators, having blown

enter the

"mouseholes"

way

unit,

bomb was
rorists

and state agencies had leapt into

counterterrorist

Team (HRT), was on

sives,

rise

crossed

Within an hour, an advance team from the

FBI's elite

Assault!

could be pulled

it

cloud would

After receiving the


ists,

teams were quietly

ter-

Furthermore, the Department of

In

fact,

they had built a

hideaway out

in

the desert

where they practiced the assault choreography that


they would perform tonight.
The assault teams got into position, their Heckler

& Koch MPS submachine

guns at the ready. Miles away,

49

at the site of the nuclear

bomb, a

SWATTeam was

local

preparing to do the same thing. Because the terrorists

had the

ability

to remotely detonate the bomb, both

targets had to be hit simultaneously To prevent the ter-

from reaching the nuclear bomb's

rorists' radio signal

computerized trigger and detonating

it,

the

HRT was

ready to flood the terrorists' hideaway with

"drown" out any emanations.

electronic signals to

The

teams

assault

both locations

at

their watches, keeping an eye


it

moved

arrived,

the

own

its

checked
on the second hand as

HRT

it

broke loose. Using explosive charges,

hell

breached the stronghold

in

two

places

as they did so.

The

and concussion from

light

the grenades stunned the terrorists. Within seconds,


the building was

filled

with the sound of PFFT! PFFT!

PFFT! as suppressed submachine guns spit their


of lead.

Then

start to finish,

silence.

All

the hostages

importantly, the nuclear

Albuquerque and

It

books

the

its

bomb

macho

and,

in

awe. Too bad

bomb

All

alive.

the

More

had not detonated.

one

importantly,

it

didn't exist.

volunteers.

And

had been

still

The

terrorists

remote area of Kirtland AFB,


ous onlookers. Yet

for the record

one that had the


officials

visited Delta

The
and hostages were

itself

safely

this exercise

took place

away from

which took

in

curi-

place

in

October 1983 under the codename "Equus Red"


was perhaps the most important drill that the HRT
would ever do. For it showed skeptics within the FBI's
bureaucracy that the

were indeed

at a

skills

much

possessed by the

higher level than a

team, and that the unit was ready to


tional.

at

operational.

Force at

It

wasn't

training facility at

its

Ft.

his

it

he

until

Bragg,

that

mind. After witnessing a demonstra-

Webster reviewed the equipment used by the team. Noticing that there were no
tion by Delta Force,

handcuffs, he inquired about

responded

grimly,

"We

it.

Delta operator

put two rounds

in

their fore-

head. The dead don't need handcuffs."

Webster then

realized that the United States

needed

between

SWAT teams and

highly

trained

to

unit

bridge

the military's

gap

the

CT forces. A

unit that could execute high-risk operations in law

Delta Force couldn't do that, since

SWAT

it

was forbidden

under Posse Comitatus from becoming involved


matters unless

civilian

And SWAT teams

tive.

simply didn't have the exper-

handle in-extremis situations. Hence, on

October day in 1983 in the deserts of


Mexico the HRT was brought into the world.

For Donald Bassett,


of a "Super

SWAT

Special

who

who

Team"

and for many others

this

New

had conceived the idea

nearly a decade earlier

at the FBI Training Division

and

Operations and Research Section (SOARS)

had supported that vision

come

in

received a Presidential direc-

it

true. But for

commander,

it

it

was

dream

John Simeone, the HRT's deputy

marked only the beginning of what had


in the next several months. The

to be accomplished

1984

Summer Olympics and

the U.S. Presidential

Campaign were quickly approaching. Both events

were

ideal targets for terrorists.

become opera-

Creation of

become

HRT

The Hostage Rescue Team

Equus Red. the team received

FBI Director William Webster's blessings to

50

HRT

After Delta Force reviewers signed off on the

HRT's performance

militaristic flavor

North Carolina, two years prior to Equus Red

nodding

just a field exercise.

the takedown

was too

an approach to law enforcement and that

had an unpleasant

tise to

more

it

rescue, and the apprehension of dangerous criminals.

were

heads of Delta Force and senior FBI

Hostage

the

enforcement, such as domestic terrorism, hostage

380,000 residents were

assault

since Webster had

was over From

living.

was an impressive

assault

in itself,

establishing

hail

had taken only 30 seconds.

it

tangos were dead.

among

The

about

Rescue Team. He was concerned that

simultaneously tossing flash-bang grenades into the

rooms

reluctant

he changed

to the appointed hour and minute. When

all

This action was ironic

been

is

premiere counterterrorist force


l-l

of domestic terrorism.

the United States'

the

The need

proverbial 9for a unit like

gos on U.S.

At that time, the

soil.

FBI only had

SWAT

teams, which were trained for high-risk arrests, not

hostage rescue or counterterrorism.

had already conceded that

dent occurred
ists

(i.e.,

if

the FBI

In fact,

a Level 3 terrorist inci-

an event involving several terror-

and multiple hostages), they would turn

over to

it

Delta Force after getting Presidential authority to do


so. Once the tangos were taken care of, the incident
would be handed back to the FBI for recovery and

post-incident investigation.

The

FBI agreed to "play" with Delta Force. So,

over Mother's Day weekend

1978, they visited

in

Nevada Test

Site. The
named Joshua Junction, tested all components of the FBI's crisis management
machine. The scenario went something like this: A

Jackass Flats, located at the

three-day exercise, code

group of Middle East terrorists had taken over an

underground nuclear weapons


several hostages

in

and had taken

site

the process. They were making

various demands, including safe passage back to their


country.

The

FBI

managed to negotiate some of the

hostages free before

finally

turning the situation over

to Delta Force. Delta arranged for

two buses

to take

the terrorists and hostages out to a waiting plane.

When

the

first

group boarded the

aircraft.

Delta did

an assault on the plane from prepositioned locations.


terrorists,

who

had stayed behind at the underground bunker

until

They then convinced the remaining


The HRT's

first

leaders:

John Simeone. deputy


during one of their

The HRT

Danny Coulson. commander

commander

visits

to learn

in

front of

and

SAS headquarters

more about CT

regularly trains with other elite

(right),

training tactics.

CT teams

the

Britain's

SAS, France's GIGN, and Germany's

plane.

Along the way. Delta Force did

that

some

grabbed

HRT was

recognized

in

the late- 970s as terror1

ism around the globe increased. Another concern


was that crime in the United States was changing: It
was becoming more violent, with criminals reaching
for automatic
In
in

weapons

instead of .38s.

them
exercise. Delta wanted to practice work-

978, Delta Force invited the FBI to join

a training

ing with the FBI, in case they ever

had to handle tan-

guys"

field

fact,

the

one female hostage


"good

at the

showed those from the

what the

FBI had to

of counterterrorism. People

Tase Bailey and John Simeone

was not equipped to handle


This point was driven
at the

real-

trying to rescue her.

Joshua Junction

the

In

exhibited

gun and started shooting

who were

Training Division
in

hostages

the

of

Stockholm Syndrome.
the

at the plane, to take the sec-

mobile assault on the bus. The training was so

istic

GSG-9. John Simeone

group arrived

ond bus to the

from around
a

the world, including

first

all

FBI's

do to be

a player

Don

Bassett,

like

realized that the FBI

a serious terrorist incidenL

home even further two years

1980 Winter Olympics

in

Lake

Placid,

later,

New York.
51

Prior to the

commencement

Games,

of these

the FBI ran a major exercise and discovered, to their

efforts

consternation, that they were not prepared to handle

There were three

terrorists.

tection. The FBI

was given

required pro-

sites that

responsibility for two. the

State Police, one. Although the FBI had pulled togeth-

er

some

of

its

SWAT

teams to deal with terrorists

at

the Olympics, the teams did not have the necessary


training to

respond successfully to such an incident.

Furthermore, the leadership was not experienced at

managing

terrorism

crisis.

One

witness to

was Jim McKenzie, who was the deputy

all

this

assistant

In

to

Ft.

that

that the

SWAT teams switched


H&K MPSs.

FBI's

9-mm handguns

using

to

and

1982, the tactical

Bragg and attended

component
a

SOARS went

of

week-long training course

was conducted by Delta Force

at their

stockade

The Ranch). There, they performed


close-quarters battle (CQB) techniques, room clear-

facility

(a.k.a.

ing tactics, explosive entries

cues. The

things that FBI

They
FBI

its

SWAT

live-fire

skills

enforcement

law

hostage res-

learning and doing

teams had never done before.

saw how these

quickly
in

and

men from SOARS were

could benefit the

efforts.

When

they

director of the FBI's Training Division at the time.

returned to Quantico, they brought along a video of

When

them doing explosive breaches and interior live-fire


CQB and showed it to McKenzie. Like them,
McKenzie understood the value of having this capability. So he gave them two weeks to put together a
presentation that outlined what would eventually
become the Hostage Rescue Team. The men quickly

he was eventually promoted to assistant direc-

tor of that Division, he gave people the impetus to

explore creating

Don

Bassett's

SWAT Team."

"Super

The 1984 Los Angeles Olympics was approaching,


and McKenzie wanted the FBI to be better prepared
than

it

had been at Lake

A group
training at

of agents

Placid.

who conducted

tactical

Quantico was moved over to

Special Operations and Research Section

SWAT

new

(SOARS).

Negotiators and psychologists were added to


group. Together, they were tasked with finding

ways to enhance the


individual

FBI's

SWAT

unit:

capabilities.

this

new

such as explosives and breaching

tactics.

one of the

Don

tional structure, training requirements,

to be attained. Their presentation

Each person
existing elite

worked with

and

skill

levels

was given to

assis-

tant directors, section chiefs and, eventually, to FBI

Director William Webster

"Our

Each

was given an area of expertise to research,

also served as a liaison to

got to work. Their plan detailed the team's organiza-

frankly,

that

some

thought

we were

was

presentation

initial

skeptically by

received

very

of the Bureau officials who, quite

we were

absolutely out of our minds,

nuts," says Tase Bailey.

the SAS and Royal Marine Commandos; BobTaubert


worked with SEAL Team Six; and John Simeone
worked with GIGN. Nearly everyone was involved

It was
indeed a belligerent meeting, with the
management constantly interrupting the presenters
with negative comments. In fact, one supervisor
reportedly slammed his hand down on the table,
adamantly declaring that no way in hell would there

with Delta Force; Joshua Junction had established a

ever be a blankety-blank Super

counterterrorism teams:

GSG-9 and

the

Israeli

warm bond between


As part of

Bassett

teams;Tase Bailey worked with

the FBI and Delta.

their liaison duties, the

Fortunately,

men

attend-

ed training exercises held by their assigned

CT

They brought their observations and newfound knowledge back to Quantico, where they
shared it with others in SOARS. In addition to
doing this, they also evaluated equipment that
might be of use to the FBI. It was from SOARS'
unit.

52

one

FBI

SWAT Team.

official

did understand the

value of having a law enforcement counterterrorist

team: John Hotis,


reviewing the

in

the Office of Legal Council. After

SOARS

video of them training at Delta,

he spoke with Webster and convinced him to give the


idea serious consideration. Thus,Webster and a host of

other FBI

officials

took

a trip to Ft. Bragg,

watched Delta Force and SEAL Team

Six

where they

do

their stuff.

Oliver "Buck" Revell, a former Marine

charge

in

Division

the

of

Criminal

FBI's

who was

Investigative

under which the counterterrorism

section

tactical expertise,

judgment.
ists

who

It

but with the FBI's bridled shooting

was not

a bloodbath:

was concerned by what he saw. Delta Force and


SEAL Team Six used maximum force and seemed to

them were

have no understanding of the criminal process. Revell

Hostage Rescue Team.

fell

felt

more

the FBI needed a

his

handcuff question bothered him.

When Webster
SOARS to put

asked

returned to headquarters, he

together a demonstration using

the Washington Metro Field Office


that he could see
situation

would

how

their

SWAT Team

so

approach to a hostage

from the

differ

arrested.)

killed.

And

(Those

who

didn't, lived

and were

so he supported the creation of the

restrained version of the

So did Webster; the answer to

military's units.

Only those terror-

brandished weapons with the intent of using

military's. Inserting

by

helicopter, they rappelled to the ground, assaulted a

Webster saw the


were using Delta Force's

building and rescued the hostages.

difference immediately.They

The

First

Team

The first commander of the Hostage Rescue


Team was Danny Coulson. (Subsequent commanders
were David "Woody" Johnson, Richard Rogers, and
Roger Nisley.) Coulson was selected because he was
a good street agent, possessed a law degree, and had
tactical experience as a SWAT Team member in New
York. FBI officials knew that he would keep the HRT
focused on the law enforcement role (i.e., minimum
use of force), which greatly pleased

Coulson's deputy
In

March

1982,

regimen that
a

Revell.

with

Coulson and Simeone

SOARS began planning the training


HRT members would undergo.They put

assistance from

together

Buck

commander was John Simeone.

milestone chart, knowing they wanted to

begin training as a
ational by the

team

in

January 1983 and be oper-

end of that yearThey determined when

the selection would occur and what types of

weapons

and equipment would be acquired and by when.


As for the training program itself, they sought
input from SAS,
visits

to

GIGN,

GSG-9, and GIGN. (On one of their


the commander told them that his

mission was "to save

HRT's motto.) Of

all

lives."

It

was adopted

as the

the teams they visited,

it

was

Delta Force that influenced them the most. Coulson

and

Simeone spent

several

weeks

at

the

Ranch.

During the day they trained with Delta operators, and

wrote down critical lesson plans that


for law enforcement roles.This became
the foundation of the HRT's training program. In one
early session, former Delta Force commander Col.
Charlie Beckwith sat down with Coulson and
at night, they

HRT's

which

logo,

Vi^as

Webster and other top


having their

own

once known
FBI officials

identity.

as the

"no-go

frowned on

logo," since

individual FBI units

However, the logo persisted, and

is

still

used.The HRT's slogan To Save Liveswhich was borrowed from


a

comment made by the commander

by the Latin words "Servare


rescue personnel,
are

known

as

who

are

Vitas."

known

of

The

GIGN

is

represented

Eagle stands for hostage

were modified

Simeone

"He

for a four-hour heart-to-heart discussion.

gave us valuable insight as to what

universally as "eagles."Terrorists

"crows" and "tangos." SFTomojczyk

ed to do as a team, what

we

we

should train for,

need-

what

53

our ethos and philosophy should be, and particularly


a lot

how you

about

select your

men

in

the selection

process," says Simeone.

The very first selection was held in June 1982.


Three groups of 30 candidates each spent a week
undergoing evaluation. Candidates endured
of firearms shooting tests and

a variety

were seen by

a psy-

who appraised their emotional and mental


state. The HRT sought candidates who were in good
chologist,

physical

shape, possessed

how

handle stressful

to

mature judgment, knew


situations,

excellent shooting and tactical

who

and

had

skills.

"You've got to be careful of the people you get


in

here,"

says Tase

Bailey,

who

with the

assisted

screening process. "You don't want hot dogs that are


just looking for an

opportunity to get into a shoot-

You want people

out.

mature decisions and


All

candidates

who are going


who can handle

wore

to

make good,

a lot

a shirt with a

of stress."

number and

was intended to keep the


candidates somewhat anonymous. During the selec-

alphabet letter on

it.

A "shoot/no snoot drill in the HRTs tire house conducted in the


1980s. HRT operators go from room to room searching for ter'

rorists:

armed

This

tion process, trainers, instructors,

and psychologists

wrote down

their

placed

the candidates' folders for review by

hostiles are shot; friendlies are freed. Often, live

hostages (who are tied up) are placed


rorist targets.

in

The operators must enter

shoot the terrorists without

striking

room along
a

with ter-

room and

the hostages.This

is

quickly

the clos-

STTU

est thing to a real-world operation.

comments and observations about


the candidates on index cards. These cards were
into

Coulson, Simeone, and a Bureau psychiatrist.


Selection tested people's judgment, physical ability,

marksmanship, and

ability

to

work

as

team.

Candidates ran the Marine Corps' obstacle course


next door

until

they were exhausted, and then were

taken to a

firing

range where they were expected to

The HRT needed people who would not overreact,


who would stay cool under stress, who would be
resourceful, and who had disciplined patience. They
wanted
In

risk takers,

not

risk seekers.

the end, 50 of the 90 applicants were selected

shoot accurately.The candidates were also tested on

one
removed herself from
consideration. Of those 50 team members, 35 were

For instance, they were shown

tapped to be full-time operators; the remaining 15

law enforcement

skills.

a film of a terrorist incident late at night

and then

what they had


seen. What were the demands? What were the surroundings? What kind of weapons were present?
How many terrorists were there and what did they
ordered to write

look

a report detailing

like?

The purpose
under stress

in

of this training

was to put people

team framework and see how they

would work together to accomplish


54

common

goal.

to be on the Hostage Rescue Team, including

woman, who

were to be

later voluntarily

alternates

then returned to

who

trained with the HRT, but

field offices. This

ered both Coulson and Simeone,

Bureau that they needed

all

arrangement both-

who

50 to be

convinced the

full-time.

"Why train a bunch of guys and then send them


home?" asks Simeone incredulously. "The idea of
putting a dedicated group of people together was
that they

would

train

That's so important.

It's

together and
like a

good

work together

football team. You

can put

on the

all-stars

field,

but unless they've

trained together a great deal of time, they won't

know

instinctively

how

each other operates."

were converted to full-time players.


Coulson and Simeone established two assault
teams a Blue Team and a Gold Team. They were supported by two six-man sniper teams.
So the

15

The Tire House and the Ranch


the months following the selection process,

In

HRT

the

itself

with acquiring equipment so

that they could shoot,

move and communicate. They

busied

also built themselves a tire shooting

they could do
bility. It

was

live fire training,

built in a field

ters out at the FBI

house so that

with 360-degree capa-

near the HRT's headquar-

Academy

in Quantico.
At that
was considered to be
Delta Force had one. SEAL

time, the tire shooting house


ideal for

CQB

training.

Team Six had one.


The HRT's one-story, open-roofed shooting
house was comprised of old tires stacked to about
lO-feet high and filled with sand. The walls were twotires wide to trap bullets fired inside the house. The

HRT

used the

cues.
ing

room

clearing tactics, and live-fire hostage res-

viewing stand was built adjacent to the shoot-

house so that assaults could be videotaped for

analysis.

The stand

also gave instructors and visiting

dignitaries a safe place to

The

watch the

was

house

shooting

HRT

finally

session. During the

began

month

by

its

first

official

of January

training

1983, every-

were honed to a cerFt. Bragg for a month

Delta Force.

According to John

of training with

skills

Simeone, the kindness extended to

HRT

by Delta

was overwhelming. "They opened their doors to us,"


he says. "The only thing that they didn't stop was
their

operator training and any mission training they

had to do.

All

also trained
situations.

members from the HRT practice their protective security


in Washington, D.C.on the mall. The VIP is Buck Revell (gray

skills

who was

suit),

the assistant director of the

The

FBI.

Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security provided the


with

its first

training session

devote their

State

HRT

on how to protect VIPs. John Simeone

other training stopped so they could

their equipment, their facility to

site,

during

us

train

those

responded with "Your

we

flag

is

When HRT

weeks."

four

attempted to thank Delta for

its

our

generosity. Delta

flag.

Why

shouldn't

help you?"

While

completed

they went off to

one's shooting and tactical


tain level. Then

It is

dangerous

Here,

action.

Thanksgiving 1982, and once the holiday season was


over, the

terrorists.

potentially

in

house to practice explosive entries

tire

(they maintained a stockpile of doors for this purpose),

The HRT does more than take down


to provide protection to VIPs

at the Ranch, the

HRT

practiced assault

how
room entries, how to sweep buildings
and search rooms, how to shoot on the move, how
to use sniper/observer teams, and how to plan misoptions (stronghold,

aircraft, mobile), as well as

to do dynamic

sions. Delta also taught the

uation

and

the

select

HRT how to

analyze a

most appropriate

sit-

assault

option, taking into account the pros and cons.

The

HRT

and

learned

how

to

do

this quickly, correctly,

under pressure.
By the time the Hostage Rescue Team returned to
Quantico, they were light-years ahead of where they

had been

just

weeks

earlier

The team's

tradecraft and

55

CQB
this

if

drills.

you shot, you also

chair next to a target

To maintain

a razor's edge.

HRT members

the

hostage rescue

live-fire

that

were honed to

skills

level,

did daily exercises and

The

thumb was

rule of

you

sat. In this case,

sat

in

the shooting house.The assault

in

team entered the room not knowing where you and


the target(s) were located. Their mission was to search

and shoot without

hitting

the closest thing to real

you

the process. This was

in

as the

life

HRT

could get.

was obviously dangerous, and the operators


accepted that. Spouses, however, were a different
story.When Buck Revell's wife, Sharon, found out that
It

he had sat as a hostage, she

the ceiling. According

hit

to Buck, she called Coulson and lectured him.

"How

could you allow him to do that?" she yelled. "He's a


grandpa. Don't you ever do anything

One

did

of the

and

live

hostages

in

was

total

were brought

to stand

assault a

who watched

room and

into the

off.

Within seconds, the

this

instructed

and not move around. Then the

still

were turned

HRT
room

darkness while wear-

ing night vision goggles. Visitors

exercise

that again."

like

impressive presentations

continues to do

still

and rescue

more

lights

visitors could

hear the distinctive PFFT! PFFT! PFFT! sound of suppressed MPSs

firing

around them. They saw nothing.

it started, it was over. When


came on, the room was empty.The hostages
were gone and the terrorist targets were destroyed.
The awe the visitors fell was magnified further when
they were told to look at each other's back. There
they found a small red marker It had been placed

Then
the

just as quickly as

lights

HRT

there by

operators during the assault to prove

that they had been close

experience

The HRT's
McAllister

from
the

left

casualty

sole

fell

to

his

a helicopter.

Huey

at the

tion. Fast-roping

occurred

how

56

when James

K.

the operators intentionally leave

a vital

CT

technique because

have done fast-roping compare

STTU

1985.

time, so as to keep the helicopter

operators to be on the ground

pole.

in

death dunng a fast-rope training exercise

Notice

same
is

enough to touch them. The

people with goose bumps.

in just a
it

it

on

few seconds.Those

to sliding

sta-

allows 8 to

down

who

a firefighter's

Practice Makes Perfect


Once the Hostage Rescue Team became operational in

October

1983,

For example,

ing.

NAVSPECWAR
of the SEALs

were

out

to

it

focused on specialized train-

dozen or so operators

in

Coronado, California

underwater procedures that

learn

applicable to HRT's mission

underwater

navigation).

visited

home

(e.g.,

The HRT

reconnaissance,

learned helicopter

insertion techniques by training with the Army's 160th


Special

Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), an

unit that

flies

elite

Delta Force into harm's way.The unit also

did a lot of nighttime training, recognizing that

would take place

many

of

in

the

morning.The Marine Corps taught them small unit

tac-

their future assaults

early

maKe

tics and night maneuvering techniques.

The HRT even went down to Camp Peary (a.k.a.


The Farm) a 9,275-acre CIA facility located near

Williamsburg, Virginia
ing.

for counterterrorism

how

triage

hand combat, chemical agents, terrorist psychology,


high-tech surveillance methods, sniping/counter-snip-

communications, and more. Whatever

tactics

and

techniques they learned from their training, they

brought them back to Quantico where the lessons


were shared with others.
As for CQB training, Coulson and Simeone
decided to make things more realistic. On advice
from SEAL Team Six commander Dick Marcinko, they
introduced wax bullets and bursting blood bags. The

wax
The

bullets

were used

so-called "sniper's

first

team-versus-team

tower" represents HRT's

located at Quantico, served as the

headquarters.

It

also afforded operators a place to

been replaced by a

larger,

state-of-the-art,

The ambulance

multimillion

training. U.S. Federal

is

The tower has

more secure headquarters


dollar

shooting

sniper range are being built just behind the

photo.

earliest begin-

is

practice climbing and rappelling techniques.

new

drills in

which

nings. This building,

team's

in

since

building.

house and

tower shown

in

this

for any accidents that occur during

Bureau of Investigation

and medical treatment

duties. In

niM iniiuuueeu uioou ua^b

in

some

HRT

lu ni

terronsts. By adding

in

med-

operators had to consider

addition to their law enforcement

keeping with the HRT's motto. To Save

receive extensive training

Over time, HRT operators went off to learn


more about air assault tactics, rappelling, hand-to-

ing,

realistic,

issues to the training regimen,

train-

to breach barricades and run roadblocks.

more

while another keeps a close eye on


ical

There, they took "smash and bang" courses on

training

shooting house dnils early on. Here, an operator nurses a leg injury

Lives,

all

operators

emergency medicine. John Simeone

the shooting house or

stung

like hell,

in field

use cover and concealment


to.

The days

howls of pain and


Hell,

it.

The
injuries

Now

tell-tale welts.

everyone knew

bursting blood bags

more

bullets

If

"I

shot you!"

there were only

you got shot, you

it.

were used to simulate

HRT member

during assault exercises. Every

received

The

they were supposed

like

of firing blanks and hearing

and "Did not!" were over

knew

exercises.

and immediately caused everyone to

than 80 hours of medical training.

"If

hostage gets injured and dies from trauma wounds," says

Simeone, "you've

lost,

even

With these blood


guy" could burst

it

if

you get

all

the bad guys."

hostage or "good

bags, a

during an assault, simulating a

wound. This meant that

assault

team members now

had to deal with triage and medical treatment,


addition to

its

in

primary mission of finding and taking

out terrorists.

Day by
morphosed

Hostage Rescue Team meta-

day, the

into a highly trained and highly capable


force.

They cross-trained with

other teams around the world, including GSG-9,

GIGN, and SAS, and modified


fit

meeting

cials

counterterrorist

learned to

the

tactics

on 747s, 727s, DC-9s,

the

this point,

middle of

ings in the

its

the

CSA was

FBI

and

CSA

entrenched

HRT

offi-

to negotiate
four build-

in

armed compound, surrounded by about

200 law enforcement ofTicialsThe CSA. which was preparing for

Armegeddon by manufacturing weapons,


its

they

etc., in

woods of Zarepath-Horeb.

leaders of the extremist group

At

a surrender

peacefully. In

the law enforcement arena. They prac-

ticed doing assaults

in

meet with

eventually gave

up

subsequent search of the compound, the FBI

dis-

covered gallons of cyanide that were to have been poured by


the

CSA

into the

water supply of an unnamed

city

US. federal

bureau of Investigation

Dallas and Atlanta, as well as at Dulles Airport.They

took down cruise


forms

and

ships, trains, buses,

oil

plat-

over the United States. They even got per-

all

mission to practice assaults on the Metro subway

system

Washington, D.C., during

in

essence, the

anytime

It

HRT

off

hours.

In

trained to be deployed anywhere,

and to take down anything.

along Bull Shoals Lake.

for short. The


disliked

Jews

CSA was
and

Armageddon. To

The Triple A's." Any where. Anytime. Anything."


was a daunting task, but they were up to the

The group was known


a

was preparing for

and

blacks,

end,

this

they

produced

so that they could be fired as


an Ingram

MAC

fully

automatic machine

submachine gun they

Stronghold Assault

Alan Berg by the violent neo-Nazi group,The

In fact,

modified was used

lived

in

a fortified

neo-Nazi-like group of 200

compound known

as

Zarepath-

Horeb. This compound occupied 224 acres of land

58

hand

grenades and silencers, as well as customized weapons

guns.

mountains of Arkansas.

CSA

polygamous community that

challenge.

The first major deployment of the Hostage


Rescue Team occurred in April 1985, in the Ozark

as the

Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the Lord, or

in

the

10

murder

of radio personality

To prepare for Armageddon and

money

in

the process, the

CSA

created a

Order
some
boot camp

raise

compound and solicited people to attend


"End Time Overcomer Survival Training School."

within the

the

These people were taught urban warfare techniques.

survival

CQB

skills,

popular aspect of

Perhaps the most

tactics, etc.

course was Silhouette

this

gunfighting city that featured several

where cardboard

jumped up

targets

walked by with their guns held

come as no
some of the

should

It

this attracted

mock
as

City, a

buildings

trainees

at the ready.

surprise that a place

like

dregs of society.

On April 5. 22-year-old David Tate was stopped


by Missouri State Trooper Jimmie Linegar on a rou1

tine traffic check.Tate

was

neo-Nazi

ed on a federal firearms charge.

He

who was

want-

also had a histo-

Aryan Nations and The Order


CSA compound, hoping to
find refuge. As Linegar and another state trooper
Allen Mines
approached Tate's van, Tate rolled out
ry of being involved

in

Tate was heading for the

and sprayed them with a submachine gun,

killing

Linegar instantly and wounding Mines. Tate then fled

woods and

into the

disappeared.

massive manhunt

was launched.
For

Bloodhounds were

eluded the police and

FBI.

called in to help with the search,

were helicopters equipped with infrared sensors


that could detect body heat. Eventually, Tate was capas

tured

in a city

then, the FBI

the

off the coast of

Cyprus to discuss a drug

headed for

at the

guns

The

Waco

who oversaw
of

the

look

this

FBI's

"These people were

Recoilless

rifles,

like a picnic,"

says

one

the

in

compound got

against the

teams

arrest of

first

quickly

occupying

Investigative

into real heavy stuff.

control of the operation, and then brought


as several FBI

more than 200

the

CSA

MRT

outer

the

hiding

assault

was made

SWAT

in

in

the Mostage

teams.

law enforcement personnel

descended on Zarepath-Horeb. An outer and inner


perimeter were quickly established around the com-

SWAT
A

and

buildings.

to surrender.The res-

four buildings

in

Negotiations between the FBI and the


with

HRT Commander Danny Coulson

the

in

unprecedented
leaders.

The

effort

CSA

SWAT

CSA

of talking directly with

discussions

went on

for

two

days, during

HRT

and

teams maintained surveillance over the com-

pound. Anyone

who

Horeb was turned


they

felt

tried to

back.

believe that security


n't. If

began,

making the

which time sniper/observer teams from the

it."

FBI negotiated with the other agencies to be

Rescue Team, as well

for the

who were now

An

out.

stronghold, with

out

safely

center of the compound, refused.

operation as the assisCriminal

grenades, mines, .50-caliber machine

you name

In all,

which turned out

pound. The outer perimeter kept the press

"That place made

Division.

a yacht

of harm's way; the inner perimeter ensured that no

that Tate had been

idents,

director

Two

985.

a terrorist overseas by the FBI. U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation

demand went out

Revell,

deal,

to be a well-conceived ploy The event marked the

the training or equipment to assault the compound.

Buck

in

was arrested by the HRT when he went to

warrants for Problem was, none of these agencies had

tant

Lebanese terrorist Fawaz Younis reads

after hijacking a Royal Jordanian jet

knew

compound as well, fugitives that


Marshals Service, BATF and other agencies had
were

self-assured,

demands

park just north of Branson, Missouri. By

Zarepath-Moreb. They suspected that several other


fugitives

his

years later he

days, Tate

six

Cocky and

was

that escape

soned, they might

sneak out from Zarepath-

The
tight

CSA

wanted the

FBI
.

even though

was impossible, the

become demoralized and

it

to

was-

FBI rea-

give up.

59

The CSA surrendered 48


As the FBI carefully went
through the buildings in the compound, they were
horrified to discover barrels filled with cyanide. The

The HRT Goes Abroad

CSA

Shiite

The

ploy worked.

hours after the

assault.

the

was part of the


comrades had the
plane fly to Tunis, so that he could deliver a message
to a meeting of the Arab League. When the plane was

in the compound. Had


down Zarepath-Horeb, who

not taken

knows how many thousands

of people

Beirut,

would have

Coor that the

HRT to

quickly

suspended

60

in

HRT

blew open dunng

rts

sweep through the building.Team members were

the

air

his

where he blew

it

up after

first

releasing the

for the

99

in Talladega, Alabama. Explosive breaching charges sliced through the

gloves and forearm pads

He and

managed to escape, but, two years later, an informant


Drug Enforcement Administration fingered

drinking a glass of water

:,,...;.=;

militia.

passengers (which included three Americans). Younis

died by taking a shower, brushing their teeth, or

A close loc, ;

Amal

refused landing rights, he had the plane return to

gallons of the poison


FBI

of FawazYounis hijacked a Royal Jordanian jet

at Beirut International Airport. Younis

been manufacturing cyanide with the


intent of poisoning the water supply of an unnamed
city. A single drop of cyanide can kill an adult; there
had

were

June 1985, a Lebanese used-car dealer by the

In

name

worn by the operator on the

following an explosion; you don't

nght.

in

nighttime assault

steel,

the

and the

room

HRT members

on the Alpha Unit

blast vi^ave

at the Federal Correctional Institution

stunned any nearby convicts long enough for the

containing the nine hostages within 30 seconds.

also

wear goggles to protect

want to shoot the wrong person.

U.S.

their eyesight

from

federal Bureau of Investigation

Note the Nomex


all

the dust that

is

Younis

in

Lebanon. The information was relayed to

the CIA, FBI, and the Department of State.

These agencies

down and

sat

Group took custody ofYounis upon

plotted ways to

lure Younis out of Lebanon and into a neutral area


where he could be arrested by the FBI, which now
had legal authority to go after terrorists anywhere in
the world, if an American was involved in the incident. Knowing that Younis had a passion for drug trafficking,

tory The U.S. Marshals Service's Special Operations

they decided to coax him with a drug deal.

Breaking

Talladega,

Mediterranean Sea exactly


international waters.

he was greeted by
deck. (Yes, they

aboard,

his

2.

When Younis

festive

FBI agents.)

in

lounging on the
As he clambered

quickly dissolved as

spirit

women

bikini clad

were

miles offshore

arrived at the yacht,

HRT

Buck

command

Revell,

ship

who

USS

had been waiting aboard the

Butte

resolve

20 miles away, came to the

two hours

his role in

the hijacking within the

after his arrest.

first

For the next three days, as

the Butte steamed to rendezvous with the aircraft


carrier

USS

Buck

Saratoga,

Revell

and the

HRT

debriefed Younis about terrorist groups and activities


in

the Middle East.They treated him with kid gloves,

because they wanted


time period, the

HRT

his

cooperation. During this

cue efforts attempted

by

his

terrorist

comrades

longest nonstop

flight

from an

aircraft carrier in his-

Federal

Alabama,

in

on Alpha

successful assault

Correctional

August

Institution

1991. By

in

time,

this

he had a good idea of what had transpired.

injured during the takeover,

Many

day.)

was released on the first


were scheduled to be

of these inmates

deported back to Cuba the next day and they


building

In

didn't

The Alpha Unit was an individual prison


one of five in the correctional complex.

go.

The inmates had control


response to

of the entire unit.

this uprising,

the Hostage Rescue

Team, Bureau of Prison Special Response Teams, and

SWAT

FBI

Knoxville

teams from Birmingham, Atlanta, and


were dispatched to Talladega. They immedi-

ately established perimeters

around Alpha Unit and

began collecting intelligence so that an emergency


assault could be enacted

if

the inmates started to

kill

the hostages.

Negotiations were
that the inmates

but the condition

initiated,

would not be deported to Cuba was

non-negotiable.

On

USS Butte met up with the USS


Saratoga, and Younis was flown to Andrews AFB just
outside of Washington, DC. At the time, it was the

the

The chaos began on the morning of August 21,


when 121 Cuban inmates armed with homemade
weapons took over the Alpha Unit, taking 10
hostages in the process. (One hostage, who had been

would be thwarted.
Ultimately, the

was the HRT's

at

HRT

provided security over Younis

to ensure that he would not escape and that any res-

heard

Simeone was no longer with the FBI or HRT, but being


a plank owner and former deputy commander of the

yacht and escorted Younis back to the ship. Younis

confessed to

without anyone getting injured."

it

"It"

want to

operators placed him under arrest.

dance around the room when

what happened on the radio," said John Simeone."lt


was the classic thing we trained for Sneak in, and

that a change had taken placeiThe meeting

held aboard a yacht off the coast, since the dealer

is

the

at

to Prison

in

did a

"I

Unit

was wanted by Cyprus police. Younis bought the


story and was taken out to the yacht.
The catch? The yacht had been leased by the
HRT and it was now bobbing up-and-down in the

He

his arrival.

sentence

30-year

Leavenworth federal penitentiary.

Through sources, they got word to him about the


deal. A meeting was arranged in Cyprus for
September 13, 1987. When he arrived, he was told
would be

serving

currently

the second day, acting U.S. Attorney General

William Barr named the FBI as the lead agency for


any

tactical resolution

HRT

to the

to conduct any rescue

Given

this responsibility,

the

crisis,
if

it

HRT

and instructed the

became
brought

necessary.
in

former

61

scene that

literally

made many HRT operators

cry

in

despair:

the cremation of the people they were trying to save. As infrared

photos and mim-microphones


deliberately set their

within a 2-minute period.

CS powder
resulted

It

is

contributed to the

the deaths of

in

later proved,

complex on

fire,

not

known

fire's

the Branch Davidians

igniting

three separate

the presence of the

if

spread. Regardless, the

more than 70

and children. (Autopies showed that

people, including
19

fires

fires

women

had apparently been

shot by their comrades.) Nine people survived the conflagration,

woman who tried to enter the burning


of escaping. An alert HRT operator raced in and

including a

instead

her

He

U.S.

Federal Bureau of Investigation

later received an

award of heroism for

building

rescued

his selfless efforts.

Waco

and the Branch Davidians. Most people

understand what happened there

HRT

blame the

bumbled

when

raid

gious sect with possession of


fight,

four

ATF

FBI to take

agents and

over the

General Janet Reno

was the HRT

HRT

uses

that

illegal

actuality the

ATF
reli-

made

weapons.

Senior FBI

mistakes

in

uninhabitable.

and on for

six

killed,

officials

forcing the

and Attorney

handling the

but

crisis,

The

and

into the buildings

vehicles repeated this effort off

hours, giving the Davidians plenty of time and

opportunity to surrender

In

fact,

FBI

negotiators encouraged

surrender by repeating a message over loudspeakers that read

team members to

assist

them with

assault and sup-

port aspects of the mission. Intelligence gathering

was stepped

up, the

determined, inmate

building's

and

internal

hostage

was
were

layout

profiles

was formulated, and dress


were performed until everyone knew the

part: "... Exit the

compound now and

toward the

Red Cross

.This

by

IS

large

not an

this point

it

it

on the

vehicles (not tanks)

CS powder

19 to inject

make them

a surprise fire-

In

as the scapegoat. In this photo, the

unarmed tracked-recovery

morning of April

In

Davidians were

five

situation.

ended up

it

incorrectly

tried to charge the

for the Davidians' deaths.

February 28

its

do not

truly

some

1993, and

in

assault."

was

flag

walk

.We do not want anyone

hurt

Notice the water source

a cesspool of garbage and

breeding ground for disease.

U.S.

in

follow instructions

in

the rear

human

left;

waste, a

Federal bureau of Investigation

acquired, an entry plan


rehearsals
assault

choreography by heart.

On
were

in

an assault to rescue the hostages.

August 29, it was clear that the hostages


imminent danger The inmates refused to

negotiate and, being frustrated and angry, had select-

ed the
a

62

first

hostage to be

killed. They

getting their way. Attorney General Barr authorized

wanted to send

message to the world that they were serious about

At 3:40 A.M. on August


takedown of the Alpha

30, the

HRT

initiated its

Unit. Explosive charges

were

used to breach the prison doors and create entry

ways for the assault teams. They began by blowing

open the main

central

door The force

of the blast

ripped open the steel-bar door and scattered cement

down

rubble

the length of the hallway.This explosion

was immediately followed by


detonated

at the

HRT

building.

second charge that

right front portion

of the brick

stormed

operators

the

building

through both breaches even as the smoke and debris

was

still

flying.

They made

objectives, using

room

way

to pre-assigned

who came

to

stun

and

them with
swords, and clubs. Team members were in the

force aside those inmates


spears,

their

flash-bang grenades

at

In the month
movements were a

napped

The hostages were

evacuated out of the Alpha Unit to

retrieved a

herded the

SWAT

the parking lot of a store. But

kidnap a family of six

in

the effort backfired

when

the teenage son ran

off,

everyone to Homing's presence. The Park

alerting

Rangers gave chase, dodging Homing's buckshot.

The

went on for miles. Then, all of a sudslammed on the brakes, leaped out of
and escaped on foot into the park. The tactic
pursuit

den, Horning

the

safety.

HRT

Meanwhile, the rest of the

quickly

and forced them to


Grand Canyon. Along the way, he
shotgun that had been stashed away After

the

spending the night at the park, Horning attempted to

containing the nine hostages within 30 seconds

of entering the building.

escape. Homing's

his

a couple near Flagstaff

to

drive

following

mystery. Then on June 25, he kid-

car,

worked: He got away.

In

the

rangers found a note

car,

teams

and cassette tape that outlined

his

plans to kidnap

entered the building and secured the upper tiers of

people and hold them hostage.

In

return for their

back

inmates

the

cell

the

cells,

their

into

blocks.

With

cells.

FBI

down

the inmates locked

all

in

Bureau of Prison Special Response Teams

entered Alpha Unit and

going from

to

cell

On
tion

who were present, the leader


Cuban inmates was knocked over backward by

According to those

the breaching charges. Fear (or the blast wave) caused

him to defecate

got to him seconds

Cuban accent

pants.

in his

later, all

When

HRT

an

he could say

all

a thick

was,"Wha happeeeened?"

three to their advantage

in

this

HRT

had

takedown,

saving the lives of nine hostages and restoring order

to the prison complex. To

this day, a sharp,

handmade

sword captured from an Alpha Unit inmate hangs


the

HRT commander's

early

morning

office, as a

in

reminder of that

million, his

freedom, and the

wagon and attempted

to

car and fled back into the wilderness.

reconnaissance

specialist,

he

felt

A former Army

confident that he

could disappear into the Grand Canyon and evade


the police.

By

And

so he crept off into the parched land

snakes, lizards, and scorpions thrived.

this time,

Team. The

hundreds of law enforcement agents

in

the case, including the Hostage Rescue

HRT

had been chasing Horning with dog

were involved

teams for several days now.

Initially,

they had tried using

infrared sensors aboard aircraft to find Horning, but the

even

hot desert radiated so much heat

hours after a person passed

Ray

Horning escaped from the Arizona State Prison

in

Florence. Horning had been serving four consecutive


life
sentences for aggravated assault, robbery, and
kidnapping.

membering

He was
a man in

also accused of killing

and

dis-

Stockton, California, after being

surprised while committing a robbery.

Park

Rangers had set up roadblocks. Horning ditched the

at night

human

dogs were much better: They could smell

Deserts, Spiders, and Snakes


On May 12, 1992, 33-year-old Daniel

stole a sta-

but the

flee,

they couldn't discern a rock from a

assault.

He

June 29, Horning reappeared.

where only

Speed. Surprise. Violence of action. The

used

operator
in

he wanted $1

release of his convict brother from prison.

cell

began restraining and removing the inmates.

of the

lives,

the bloodhounds

in full

miles at a time, up and


suit of

by.

that

The

scent for

HRT operators

body armor

down

being.

ran with

for five to seven

the rocky canyons

in

pur-

Horning. When the dogs wearied, a helicopter

picked them up and replaced them with a fresh team.


The hunt was constant, day and night. Over the course
of 10 days, the
rain, driving

HRT

covered 80 miles

in

the desert ter-

an exhausted Horning ahead of them.

63

On

July 4,

Horning surfaced

captured two English

women.

again. This

get through police roadblocks, he tied


tree and

left

them behind.

time he

After using them to

In his

them

to a

effort to escape, he

attracted the attention of a State Trooper,

who

Profile of the

Some

commitment

selection of agents

officer

considered pursuing Horning, but

it

was

for him at sunrise. However, around 10 P.M., a resi-

cises

the

Sheriff

responded to the

After searching the area with bloodhounds, they

to high quality training standards and

who

are dedicated to saving

its

lives.

The two-week selection process continues to


tremendous amount of emotional, mental, and
physical stress on the candidates. Most of the exer-

drinking from his garden hose.

The HRT and County

1982.

many

place a

dent called the police saying that a strange man was

call.

in

things have remained the same, such as the unit's

the car and ran off into the canyons near Sedona.

The

has had a rich and

established

things have changed over the years, but

chased after him. Once again. Horning bailed out of

growing dark. The police and FBI decided to search

HRTToday

The Hostage Rescue Team


successful history since it was

performed during selection

HRT

parallel actual cases

has been involved with. For example, from

the Horning incident, the

"dog run" exercise

HRT

has incorporated a

which candidates follow

in

found Horning hiding under the deck of a house.

tracker across rough terrain and waterways for a

After a few hours negotiation, he was arrested and

number

of miles. (Yes,

charged with attempted murder, armed robbery, and

marches

are. but

kidnapping.

These open-ended runs not only

Two HRT
essential

quickly

helicopters

elements

The HRT

crisis. U.S.

64

in

fly

low and

any

assault,

fast

know how many

promised

HRT

miles the

wouldn't reveal

it.)

stress a candidate

over a lake to drop off an assault element during a training exercise. Since speed and surprise are

the operators cling to the outside of the helicopter

has pre-positioned

many of

Federal bureau of Investigation

its

riding the skids

so that they can deploy more

helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft around the nation to speed up

its

response time to

HRT

seven years with

to

five

another position within the

minimum commitment

year

FBI.

before

leaving

(There

is

for

a three-

to the team.)

Snipers receive training from both the FBI and

Of the two, the eight-week


much more advanced. It focuses on
concealment and covert movement, sniper

the U.S. Marine Corps.

USMC

course

things like

hide

is

and

construction

how

and

The HRT
for riots

recently adopted a modified U.S. Marine

and dangerous incidents winere there

tection for

its

operators, such as the

Corps LAV-25

is little

or no pro-

996 Montana Freemen

sit-

can

HRT

operators and their equipment

inside the cargo area, three to a side. They enter the vehi-

fit

cle via a door-like

hatch

in

turbocharged engine propels the vehicle along


road.

The 2

ing at 6

-foot-long

mph

in

the rear of the vehicle.

LAV

at

six-cylinder,

60 mph on the

mov-

also amphibious, capable of

is

shallow water

U.S.

federal Bureou of Imestigation

how

snipers are trained out to 1,000 yards. This gives

the snipers confidence


the

HRT

Is

factored

race during selection.

in

It's

for a person's size, sex or

a pass

or

fail

environment.

candidate either does or does not do the job.

That's

all

that matters.

Over the

years, three

have tried out for the team, but none have

women

made

it.

Those who make the team now go through a 14week New Operators Training Course (NOTC). It is
here that they learn CQB skills, assault and room
clearing tactics, insertion
tactics,

methods, night patrolling

and live-hostage rescue techniques.

pass, they are either sent along for

more

If

they

specialized

training (e.g., sniper school) or assigned to an

HRT

candidates are placed on a one-year's pro-

Team.

All

bation.

The majority of

ations, should

in

their mid- to late-

30s.

Many

half

have had prior military experience. They serve

are married and have children. Less than

their

and

skills,

it

75 yards,

is

also gives

it

in

rural situ-

be necessary.

Congress authorized the HRT to


strength from 50 to 100 operators. The

1996,

In

increase

its

addition of these

men and women

will

HRT
Waco

allow the

to respond to protracted large crises, like the

Davidian and Montana Freemen sieges, or to several


smaller events that occur simultaneously.
for the tire shooting house,

had

to

antiquated.

learned a tactic

reprogram

was torn down


The walls two

it

were not authentic enough.

deemed too

wide and rounded

tires

himself for

in

the tire house

the

8-inch-thick

straight walls found in the real world. Replacing the

house

tire

is

new $6

million Tactical

Firearm

Training House. This state-of-the-art concrete


is

facility

nearly six times larger than the tire house and fea-

tures moveable walls, stairwells for various training

tower for

exercises, a helipad, and a five-story


pelling

ups

and climbing

will

and

drills. Vehicles

aircraft

rap-

mock-

be able to be placed inside the building

where takedowns can be done

in

private. Lighting

conditions can be changed, and closed-circuit cameras

(including

infrared)

be

will

in

place

to

film

assaults for later analysis.

While

today's operators have eight

years of FBI experience and are

in

the capability to do takedowns

An operator who

far they're going.

Nothing

knows

any environment for days on

HRT

As
but also mentally, since he never

techniques.

Although the average sniper shot

after being
physically,

in

sniping

to be expert observers

end.

uation. The eight-wheeled, light-assault vehicle can withstand hits

from 7.62-mm ammo. Six

to survive

urban

how

Snipers are also trained

HRT
Maze

is

this

using a

(a.k.a.

new

building

is

being constructed, the

temporary shooting house, known

Hack's House).

It is

as

The

2-room structure

that

has rubber-matted steel walls to absorb the frangible bul-

65

used by the

lets

HRT

for assault training. The

rooms

are

with paper and steel targets. Mannequins and furni-

filled

ture are often used to add authenticity to the exercises.

The

course of

HRT

done by the

training

and continuous as

it

was

in its

is

still

as intense

founding days.

Over

the

month, operators may receive specialized

training in linear assaults

planes, trains, buses),

(e.g.,

with the

HRT

from

bility

equipped with FLIR (Forward Looking

off to

were used

for

in

the

996 Montana Freemen stand-

purposes.

planning

tactical

Petersen

in

addition to their day-to-day firearms shoot-

ing

and assault

the

HRT members

training.

Preparedness

and carry out their mission

was exemplified

This

is

what allows

to deploy day or night to a


in

any weather condition.

1996 when the

in

crisis

HRT was

sent

Leroy

and

were chosen by

began. They

like

environment within

12-hour period, changing

equipment along the way.

SWAT

the HRT,
Unit.

The HRT falls under the Critical Incident


Response Group (CIRG), which is tasked with using
assets to resolve hostage-takings and sieges.
units that

divisions: Special Investigations

fall

into

two

It

is

distinct

scope
breaching, training, and

for

particular

Two

assault

Undercover Safeguard

training cycle

Unit;

Investigative

Support

Management Unit; and Aviation & Special


Operations Unit. The latter two play important roles
hostage situations.

Management Unit (CMU)

prised of negotiators and

command

post

is

comThe

staff.

negotiators have years of experience, and often speak


several languages.

SOARS, which,

The

as

CMU

was formerly known as


mentioned earlier, fathered the

Hostage Rescue Team.

is

referred to as a "Blue

each

other team

is

on the duty

its

of which lasts

cycle, preparing for instant

deployment. They may do protective


site

surveys, or even

details,

conduct

undergo specialized

training

during their two-week cycle. By using this Blue/Gold

concept,

half the

HRT

is

always ready to respond to

an emergency.
interesting

Helicopter

This includes the Nightstalker aircraft that are deployed

team with

66

as

Team" and

different cycles

and a duty cycle

An

Special

such

The HRT's

two weeks. During the training cycle, one team focuses on core counterterrorism skills such as CQB
drills, room clearing, and breaching. Meanwhile, the

Tactical

&

intelligence.

"Gold Team." These teams are on

Operations Unit provides

Aviation

responsible

teams and two sniper teams each

fixed-wing aircraft that are used for surveillance efforts.

The

is

four sniper teams, under another

and Tactical Support.

Unit; Crisis

is

operation,

of

four assault teams are under one supervisor;

comprise what

Crisis

Support branch

commander, deputy commander, and

Under the Special Investigations branch, there are


five units: Abducted Children & Serial Killers Unit;

The

Tactical

Training Unit, and Special Detail

The latter protects the U.S. Attorney


The Hostage Rescue Team itself is com-

prised of a

in

on the West Coast to speed

future crises.

seven supervisors. Each supervisor

comprised of several

siege

FBI Director Freeh for this

General.

Who's Who

its

in

Under the CIRG's

Michigan for another mission. The team went from a

their

Daniel

although there has been talk of deploying one of these

up response times

arctic-

mission to minimize the risk of a potential shoot-ouL

sophisticated aircraft out

degree

the

leaders

before

The HRT also ran all the tactical operations during the
siege.) The Nightstalkers are based in Washington, DC,

and were then immediately redeployed to upstate


icy -35

(Yes,

militia's

Schweitzer

to San Juan, Puerto Rico to conduct a high-risk arrest,

balmy 95 degree paradise to an

HRT
HRT was at

provide aerial photographs of the area to the

Montana. They arrested the

is

are

aircraft

Infrared), high

speed video, and high resolution cameras. Nightstalker


aircraft

photography, trauma medical care, and other


This

night vision capa-

These turbo-prop

air

breaching, reconnaissance, night patrolling, rappelling,


skills.

them

crises to give

in

the

aircraft

arena

within

the

Program, which
for transportation

HRT

is

the

provides

the

and

tactical

Practice
its

makes

perfect,

counterterrorist

and the

skills

HRT

practices every day to

honed. Here, two

HRT

tice

doing an insertion via helicopter, shooting at targets

the

way

elite

in.

The MD-S30

forces worldwide,

"Little Bird"

due to

its

helicopter

keep

operators prac-

is

small size, speed

(left)

on

popular with

and

agility U.S.

Federal Bureau of Investigation

insertions. The
gle-

HRT now

and twin-engine

ing the small, fast,

HRT

and

has

aircraft
agile

more

MD-530

has prepositioned several of

tions

than a dozen sin-

and helicopters, includ"Little Bird."

its

The

aircraft at loca-

around the United States to ensure quick

response times when a

crisis arises.

The HRT

Dialing 9-1-1
As the United

USAF

the

Hostage

States'

premier counterterrorist

Rescue Team

hostage situations and sieges as they


ticipates in

major public events, such

and Presidential Conventions,

in

is

deployed

arise.

It

as the

to

also par-

Olympics

these events, they

for deployments. This

"wheels up" within four hours and on


crisis.

force,

has an arrangement with the U.S. Air Force to use

aircraft

The Air Force provides C-130

shown

here, C-I4I

HRT's palletized

gear.

allows the
its

team to be

way to the scene of a

Hercules, C-5 Galaxy and,

StarLifter cargo aircraft to transport the

Ford Explorers, armored vehicles, and

copters. The C-I4I can carry up to 89,000

pounds of cargo.

heliU.S.

Departmer)t of Defense

67

held passengers hostage aboard a plane at the airport.

It

was the

first

exercise ever to be held by fed-

poison gas

eral authorities involving the release of a

at a public event.

HRT

While the Olympic Games were underway, the


and CIRG were on-call to immediately respond

An operations center

to any incident.

located at the

FBI Atlanta Field Office orchestrated their deploy-

ment and response.

to respond.

seen and precious

rarely

gift

end oftheirtourof duty:an engraved


it.The ring

is

purchased by the

to the departing team


operators,

it's

men

member

HRT openuuii di tne


ring with the HRT logo on

given to

in

the unit and

at a going

is

presented

away party For many

one of the most emotional moments

For years they have trained with the unit day

in

in

their

lives.

and day

more

and

lives.

U.S.

Federal

its

the United

in

team are the

serious than they can handle, they

56

field offices

SWAT

team

SWAT
in

in

thwarting acts of terrorism, as well

as

During the 1996 Olympic

HRT

visited

mapped them

all

Games

out, and put

and,

the
in

Atlanta, the

45 venues and 38 training

sites,

them on computer.

terrorist had taken athletes hostage, the

HRT

If

could

each

City, Chicago,

field offices

such

and Los Angeles. These

nine teams have received special training from the

HRT

responding to any incidents that occur.

at

teams of about 30 agents

the larger

and possess enhanced equipment.

duty to rectify the terrorist situation


assist

is

on the

call

nationwide. Supplementing this

each that are located

New York

first

they determine that the situation

are nine enhanced

out,

Bureau of lr)vestigation

If

SWAT

FBI for assistance. The FBI has a

of

as
sweating and sacrificing themselves to save

happens

a terrorist incident

If

States, the local police

if

they

HRT
In

can't, to

if

It

is

their

they can

take charge of the scene until

arrives.

large crises, such

as

Oklahoma

the

bombing and the Montana Freemen


has a special

command

post within

City

siege, the FBI

its

Washington,

D.C. headquarters that directs operations

until

attacks against the nuclear reactor at the Georgia

Buck
Revell in 1983, prior to the 1984 Olympic Games,
the Strategic Information Operations Center is a
secure suite of rooms staffed around the clock
during major investigations. It has a conference
room, galley and a command area that is filled with
television monitors, fax machines, computers,

Institute of Technology.They

secure telephones, and a secure videoconferenc-

have pulled up the blueprint and photos of the building

and

specific

room on

created an assault plan.

the computer and quickly


The team also prepared

dozens of response options

more obvious
ings,

in

anticipation of the

terrorist attacks, including car

hostage-takings

in

the

Olympic

bomb-

village,

and

rehearsed these assaults

the

situation

prior to the

Games, to iron out all the wrinkles. In


one exercise, "Olympic Charlie," they and other

ing system.

agencies had to deal simultaneously with a hijacking

all

at the airport

and a chemical gas attack

Atlanta. The terrorists had driven a van

nerve gas through the

city

downtown
withVX

and crashed into a tanker

carrying gasoline while other

68

in

filled

members

of the group

When

is

remedied. Established

attempting to remedy a

other methods before

calling

crisis,

by

the FBI uses

on the Hostage

Rescue Team. Many unenlightened Americans do not


because the HRT exists, it does
must be used, especially if the FBI
does not have to use it. As Buck Revell points out,

understand that
not mean that

just

it

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Hostage Rescue Team


Training Facility
(Not Inclusive

Future
Shooting

& Not To Scale)


Protective

Berm

House Complex
& Sniper Range

RR
Storage

Old
Sniper

Car

Tower

The
Maze

Storage
Building

Vehicles

Firing

Firing

Range

Range

CHAPTER

The Shadow

FIVE

Stalkers:

Group

Special Operations
SEAL Team
"In the

normal course, we're not

Lou

Stagg,

visible."

in

Commander, SOG

cies

Alexandria

is

a small city located

Red

State. Split by the

Creole

rounding Alexandria

swamps, and

dominated

is

critters of

River, the region sur-

all

by

shapes, colors,

among

to believe that hidden

difficult

pine

marshes and scrub forests

is

and

all

the steamy

the headquarters and

training grounds of the U.S. Marshals Service's

the Special Operations

go about their work

down
deputy marshals

elite unit,

local residents

Alexandria just a few miles

a dirt road that leads to a 40-acre com-

away
plex

Group (SOG). As
in

It's

are

firing

Colt

running obstacle courses, practicing

and learning breaching techniques

in

SMGs

at targets,

dynamic

entries,

a classroom envi-

ronment. Who would have guessed?

The

Special

Operations Group

oldest tactical team

in

been established

1971

in

the federal

serious

SOG

operator. The 9

figuration of an
butt. The

minute.

It

SMG
fires

M- 6
1

rifle,

has a cyclic

mm

is

the United States'

government, having

SMG

HRT were

was used to respond to

it

even a thought

was

estab-

first

emergen-

national

disturbances, such

civil

as

SOG's

first

major deployment occurred

in

February

when members of the militant American Indian


Movement seized the hamlet of Wounded Knee, on the
1973,

Pine Ridge Sioux Reservation

awareness of American

in

Indians'

South Dakota to
civil

rights.

The

of 800 to

rigid
1

telescoping

,000 rounds per

20- or 32-shot magazines. SF Tomajczyk

raise

Special

Operations Group was activated and more than 100

armed Deputy Marshals descended

at

Wounded

Knee,

along with dozens of FBI special agents and Bureau of


Indian Affairs police officers.
days, the

hills

were

littered

Both sides dug

the negotiation process began to drag on.

the captors

finally

interest, lasted

and federal

Within

The

his

officials,

firefights

between the

with thousands of rounds

fired. Two Indians were killed and U.S.


Grimm was paralyzed when a rifle bullet

spine;

the

great

distance

between

entrenched parties prevented any further

Although many

siege,

days before

surrendered to authorities. Nearly

every night of the siege featured


Indians

in.

with bunkers and trenches as

Marshal

severed

handled by a dead-

but with a short and

the

Cities Naval Air Station just outside Minneapolis.

Lloyd

uses the basic body and con-

firing rate

FBI's

which piqued the world's

years before Delta Force,

a Colt

SOG

and to counter

being

"FREEZEl'The business end of

and the

seizure ofAlcatraz Island and the occupation of theTwin

trees,

sizes.

Six

the back of someone's mind. When

lished,

the heart of the

in

USMS

SOG members felt they could

the

two

casualties.

retake the

hamlet within hours by using armored personnel

carri-

71

these purported tangos, so that their comrades don't

us Marshals Sen'ice
Special Operations Group

attempt to free them. Recent notables under SOG's

Training Facility

Lcidcnhip

(Oklahoma City

watchful eye included Timothy McVeigh

Reaction

Omar Abdel-Rahman (New York City


bombing conspiracy), Ramzi Ahmed Yousef (Philippine
bombing), Sheik

Main FthnE Range

bombing and World Trade Center bombing),

Airlines

and Theodore Kaczynski (Unabomber).


see SOG's mission

"I

als,"

in

high threat terrorist type

George "Ray" Havens, deputy director of the

says

move

Marshals Service. "If we've got to

people

in

Missouri,

housed,

the Sheik and the

World Trade Center case from Springfield,


to Kansas City where they're going to be
the

that's a

mission for a specially trained, specially

equipped law enforcement group. That's a


ers and tactical assault techniques, the unit

down Wounded

by the U.S. Attorney General to take

Knee. Instead, they were ordered to contain the


tion

who

and ensure that those

were

May The
away

participated

arrested. Ultimately, a settlement

in

Special

were gathered

Indians

in

Operations Group's

managing

civil

end of the

It

SOG

is

has

moved

avy^y

how

disturbances and has learned

bottom of some unnamed


And,

someone makes

if

official,

SOG

jumps

in

lake

on the

wearing cement boots.

a threat against a federal judicial

to protect

them

as well.

For example, during the biggest terrorism

U.S. history

nine others

in

which Sheik

were convicted,

trial

Omar Abdel-Rahman
in

October

in

and

995, of con-

from

element

deployed to serve high-risk warrants, transdigni-

and federal witnesses, provide security at federal

courts, and apprehend dangerous fugitives

ows).

mission."

to van-

port high-profile and dangerous prisoners, protect


taries

SOG

also responsible for protecting the people

has constantly evolved

quish the horrors of an ever-changing criminal

Today,

in

serious involvement.

time,SOGs mission

to match the needs of the times.

the siege

is

that testify against terrorists so they don't end up

and hauled

up, arrested,

first

situa-

was reached

buses, thus marking the successful

Since that

SOG

was forbidden

tri-

U.S.

The

latter

role

Operations Group
Stalkers." Fugitives

is

is

the

reason

known by some

from the law

(a.k.a.

why

the

as the

typically

shad-

Special

"Shadow

disappear into

the deep shadows of our society to thwart apprehension.

Although

team

like

the

it

important role
In

is

HRT
in

not

dedicated counterterrorist

or Delta Force,

SOG

does

any given week, the U.S. Marshals Service

ble for

either killed or threatened to

72

responsi-

is

Some of
who have

about 23,000 unsentenced prisoners.

these are alleged terrorists and extremists

Special

play an

the United States' war on terrorists.

Operations Group

is

kill

innocent people. The

responsible for guarding

SOG

operators practice two-man entry C"

around
assault

SOG

2-man teams that

typically

and clear a building of

IS

just

one of

iCG

:"gi" ;ej

terrorists. The black outfit

several uniforms

designed for night operations

use the "snake" formation to

(i.e.,

in

wom

the team's closet

It

by
is

camouflage) as well as to intim-

idate the "bad guys" so that they don't immediately

the team's threat. By the time they react,

it's

too

late.

respond to
Sf Tomojczyk

Holy War against the United States

spiring to v^age a

members

of

SOG

protected the judges and U.S. attor-

neys from possible attacks of retribution.The arrest and

subsequent conviction of the Sheik, a well-known


ic,

who was

group accused of deadly terrorist acts

more

than just a few people

machine gun massacre of court


the question.

Which

observers stationed

nine-month

assault

team waiting

action at the
foolish

was not out of

officials

SOG

or a suicide

had plain-clothed

as well as a heavily

trial,

first signs

room

in

enough to

itself

over the building complex dur-

all

ing the

why

is

Egypt, angered

in

the Middle East.

in

bombing attempt of the court room

been

cler-

the spiritual leader of a militant Muslim

armed

ready to spring into

of an attack.

If

try anything, he

somebody had

would have been

arrested within seconds.


Similarly,

SOG

Center bombing

was present

trial,

the

at

which took place

War"

the above-mentioned "Holy

in

World Trade
1

terrorist

defendants were found guilty of the horrific


claimed six

ing that

994, prior to

trial.

Four

993 bomb-

and injured more than 1,000

lives

They were each sentenced to 240 years of

people.

imprisonment without the

possibility of parole.

ensured the safety of the witnesses and


during the

trial,

as well as

SOG

judicial officials

thwarted any possible rescue

efforts to free the defendants.

SOG

was once

Courts. This time,

Women

comprise about

percent of SOG's

undergo and endure the exact same

Note the

terparts.

way

by the

is

SOG

They

strength.

training as their

male coun-

patch on this operator's shoulder (who,

an admirable marksman). The silhouette of the

United States shows that

SOG

is

national team, the four

regions identify the original organizational response structure

(which

is

gests that

no longer used), the red-white-and-blue

SOG

refers to the original six-hour response time that

to

(it's

lightning sug-

reacts patriotically and quickly to a

crisis,

SOG

the VI

adhered

faster now), the stars identify the original location of

Headquarters and

its

who was on

after

patches for collectors to acquire.

can get them. SF hmajczyk

Not even USMS

planes

48 hours,

in

(Yousef tested

his

He was

killing

idea

Philippine Airlines flight


killing a

staff

trial.

captured
FBI.

in

Pakistan

Upon

his

trial and found guilty for a related terrorist act in


which he and two others conspired to blow up 12

to

year-old
Special

in

4,000 innocent Americans.


by
1

placing

994. The

a bomb on a
bomb exploded,

passenger and injuring 10 others.) Needless

say, Yousef

and the others were found guilty.The 28-

the

difficult

the U.S. District

in

Ahmed Yousef, the

extradition to the United States, Yousef was put on

and

dates 1789 and 1971 refer to the formation of the U.S.


Marshals Service and SOG, respectively This is one of the most

shadow

for Ramzi

worldwide manhunt by the

SOG

training facilities (which have changed),

was

mastermind of the World Trade Center bomb-

alleged
ing,

it

again a

militant

was now being guarded by the

Operations Group, while the World Trade

Center bombing

trial

was

in

session.

73

A Close
The

Look At

SOG

gency and they don't have time for

Operations Group

Special

presently orga-

is

nized around four Teams, each of which

12-person teams. (Prior to

smaller

organized around threeTask Forces.)

upward of

comprised of

is

All

SOG

teams

is

team has
moment's

a dedicated, full-time unit like the FBI's

Hostage Rescue Team. Deputy Marshals that have been

SOG

accepted into

serve

district

in

throughout the nation, remaining on


for

SOG

missions.This

no need or desire

is

is

not to

work and

mented out

USMS

in

concept to create
Louisiana that

will

every day to support the agency's mis-

the

in

Headquarters

Havens envisions

sion.

24 hours a day

call

for a dedicated unit. In fact,

SOG

train

offices

field

however, that there

say,

Deputy Director Ray Havens has


such a team at

and

field

core team being comple-

this

by former

necessary. For example,

SOG

if

Michigan for an operation,

members, when

were to be deployed to

could

it

team members from nearby

SOG

pull

in

perimeter security, serve on entry teams, and so on.

SOG

Current

team to

They understand the need

together

train

unit integrity and,

the time,

all

more

in

order to

for a

establish

importantly, to ensure

that

prepared to dance the intricate choreogra-

everyone

is

phy of an

assault.

SOG

team

is

Airborne

call.

This

is

Division

on standby

way the Army's 82nd


operates. The team remains on

similar to the

standby notice for about three weeks.

If

there

is

no

deployment, they rotate to "in the hole" status while the


other three teams assume higher
If

SOG

Tactical

Camp
if

is

Center

SOG's

levels of readiness.

members gather

headquarters

Once

their shooting

at theTactical Center, the


skills

if

it's

ready to go at a

aircraft.

could be
Stagg,

team

is

comprised of 12 members,

more or

depending on the mis-

less

commander

the

may have

of

the

Special

might need to send

some down

more people so

that operators get

time. Similarly, an assault

team may be

situation that requires the use of four snipers to

plement

its

normal crew.

how many SOG

tates

team

to be deployed for longer than a week, so you

special skills

in

com-

the end, the situation dic-

In

operators are deployed and what

and equipment are provided.

So You Wanna Be a "Shadow Stalker?"


Becoming a member of SOG
no picnic. Only
to

that

percent of

15

all

process, which includes a series of interviews and 27

days of hellish training at theTactical Center


class,

accepted for

training,

and only 20

alone attest to the

elite

a recent

finished. Those statis-

nature of the Special

Operations Group.
Qualified

SOG.The
physical
tors.

Deputy Marshals are welcome to apply to

initial

skills,

selection criterion

mental

ability,

is

based on a deputy's

background, and other

numerical scoring system

is

used to make a

faclist

of possible candidates, from which several are invited to

the Center for one-on-one interviews.

SOG

for mature, stable, and well-rounded candidates

is,

capable of retaining perishable

an emer-

In

200 Deputy Marshals applied for SOG, 59 were

trainable, possess high

operators

applicants survive the selection

at

and practice their assault mis-

sion before going wheels-up. However,

74

it

palletized,

can be flown out by military or U.S.

mander to match the deploying team with the expect-

visit

at the

located

Beauregard near Alexandria, Louisiana

time allows.

hone

deployed, team

It

ed operating environment. As Stagg points out,

notice for deployment, with the other three teams

being on

situa-

Operations Group, works closely with the team com-

tics

At any given time, one

notice.

Lou

sion.

equipment

basic

its

basic assault

although

and go

can be on location within a few hours. The

Marshals Service

crisis site

Depending on the

is

operators support Havens' vision

for a full-time team.

SOG

tion,

skills.

former

six

to assist with

field offices

and

their experience

10 percent are

women. Most team members are in their 30s and many


are married, some with children. Interestingly, none of
the

on

this practice session,

operators travel directly to the

SOG was
tolled, SOG has

1996,

100 operators, of which

SOG

skill

levels in certain areas,


skills.

former Navy SEAL or

just

are

and are

Individualists, glory

hounds, and hot doggers need not apply

expect special treatment

looks

who

Similarly,

don't

because you happen to be

SWAT

team member.

"No one

walks through the door," says Lou Stagg,

pointing at the front of the Tactical Center"! don't care

what you were before you got


equal to everybody

in

here. You're starting off

those ranks."

Stagg admits that people from units around the

world have indeed trained with SOG. Some have suc-

ceeded and others have


Stagg."Some people

go through

it

failed. "It's

mind-set," says

can't adapt to it.They don't

again. They don't

want to

want to have to go back

to the fundamentals."

After the one-on-one interviews, promising candidates must validate any


instance,

skills

they claim to have. For

they say they can shoot a score of 90 per-

if

cent, they have to prove

from a

certification

it

and there. Shooting

right then

District Office

SOG. So braggarts beware.


Once the final candidates

is

not accepted by

have been seleaed, they

undergo a 27-day Qualification Course at the


Center.

27 days of immersion

essentially

It's

unadulterated stress. The course

ebb

emotions and

a candidate's

everything

done

is

you never walk

in

designed to peak and

is

about

physical abilities.Just

a military-like

again. Instead,

Tactical

into pure,

manner As

a candidate,

you march and move

in for-

The rope

climb that seems to never end.

It

just

is

one

station

in

mation.You are under constant pressure, 24 hours a day to

the 12-station Rose Garden obstacle course at SOG's 40-acre

accomplish tasks while paying attention to the smallest of

training facility

details. You

and competitive, with two operators racing against each other

have to shoot and perform and maintain

nonstop.The

pline

and

is

training itself lasts

with

filled

physical

disci-

5 to 17 hours a day

exercise, obstacle

courses,

in

Louisiana. The 100-yard course

and the clock to

finish

Commander Wayne

using his feet to lock

firearms training,
given

field

no guarantee

you're lucky

The

if

exercises,

and assault

that you'll get a

stress

and fatigue are used by

What

is

How

SOG

retreat and

Do

tant questions that

clearly

one of

its

tac-

an individualist? These are impor-

must be answered.

even-keeled, and well-disciplined unit.

members

SOG
It

is

a tight,

cannot allow

to lose control while on a mission.

To do so could jeopardize not only the success of the


mission but also,

more

50 seconds. Task Force Three

demonstrates good climbing technique

on to the rope so that he can

himself upward. The Rose

easily

reach

Garden requires about

80 percent upper-body strength to complete

you hold

you remain a team player or do you

become

pull

stressful

it.

SF Tomojczyk

instructors

well can

your breaking point? Can you think

decisions?

above and

both

day

and function well under stress? Can you make good


tical

are

night's sleep. In feet,

you get 60 minutes of shut-eye

to get a glimpse into your soul.

up?

full

tactics. You

within

Plylar

is

importantly, someone's

life.

BUD/S course

Unlike the Navy's famous

SEALs,

ing

SOG

training. Instead,
ple.

As

they are placed Into squads of 10 peo-

attrition takes

signed or

for aspir-

candidates are not paired up during

merged

into

its toll,

a candidate

another squad.

may be

Internally,

reas-

some

people may naturally pair up because of similar back-

grounds
but

in

(e.g.,

two people with

Special Forces training),

the end, the entire squad

is

responsible for

performance. Everyone quickly learns to be


er,

trying to pull others to their level of

team

its

play-

ability.

75

There are

ways

essentially three

for a candidate to

leave the training cycle. First, a candidate can volunteer

to

which

leave,

immediately granted. Second, an

is

injured candidate can

to finish the training.

fail

If

guarantee of acceptance.

And

last,

remove

a candidate

teria of

what they are looking

nothing

is

put into

recorded
attempt.

want

they

if

for.

no

instructors can
cri-

a candidate leaves,

If

personnel jacket, and nothing

his

The reason

is

he doesn't meet the

feel

headquarters

at

SOG

hap-

this

pens, he can reapply for the next session, but there

about

for this

SOG

twofold:

is

is

unsuccessful

his

doesn't

a candidate's failure to haunt him for the rest of his

career as a Deputy Marshal, and

SOG

doesn't want to

scare off future candidates from applying.

A Trip Through

the Rose Garden

Most of the candidate

Army

reservation that

is

in

the middle of a

covered with pine

hidden away from public view,

SOG

where

a U.S. Air

Force concept,

interpersonal dynamics of unit

tactical solving skills

members. Operators are given

is

used for entry

warehouse with moveable


a vehicle assault course,

drills,

and a log cabin that

is

used for classroom training sessions.

Much

of this

facility

was

moved

built

by

SOG members

across a water barrier without touching the red areas (or the

years since they

water). There are

ing ranges, assembled the log cabin, and

5 stations

in

the LRC, each with a unique

problem to be addressed and overcome.

In

the end, team

mem-

bers tend to follow the advice of the most persistent and out-

They

One

that are striving to achieve

and to show their


the

unit,

skills,

start off as a

class,

point

is

where

it

railroad cars serve

of the

more
is

unpleasant tasks

SOG

candidates

the obstacle course, which

is

located

Rose Garden

100 yards long and has

as individuals,

it

become

in

team

typical for the training to

individuals reporting

into a squad.

takes."

two

own,

they're not going to lose

what

built fir-

constructed berms.

Known

so as to ensure their position

it

over the

983.They

adjacent to the rifle/sniper range.

in,

then

it

By the end of the

the candidates against the staff."They get to the

regardless of

76

group of

metamorphoses

it's

their

"You have people

but at the same time, you see

effort" Stagg says that

slowly

on

in

shed for equipment

have to endure
Stagg.

to Louisiana,

also did a lot of improvising:

as a storage

spoken leaden not necessarily the strongest person. Sf hmofzyk

Observes Commander

a helicopter

an obstacle course,

city,

and

minutes to solve a problem, such as the one shown here: getting

Here,

training

is

walls that

team leaders can see the

3,000-acre

forests.

firing ranges,

mock

a leadership reaction course, a

The Leadership Reaction Course,

SOG's W-acre

is

complex, which features several


sniper/rappelling platform, a

away

training takes place miles

from the Tactical Center, out

one more person,

II,

this

O-course

is

12 stations that are guaranteed to

body burn with exhaustion. Keith

commander,

says that

is

deliberate.

sarcastically as

make your upper


Erni, a

SOG

team

"The course was

designed to require that you use about 80 percent of

your upper body strength. Most people are weak


area,

and

this

Strength and

is

good way to improve

good technique are necessary

to overcome the Rose Garden."

in

that

their strength.

ingredients

Candidates run the course

each

pairs against

in

other and against the clocl<.The course includes elevat-

ed logs to jump and climb over, 7-foot-high walls to


scramble over, and a thick hanging rope to climb to the
top

of,

and a

25 feet above.

If

you can do the

half minutes, you're

however, are fortunate to complete

minutes on the

is

course

three to

in

it

the

five

that

SOG

candidates go

Leadership Reaction Course (LRC).

Based on an Air Force concept and design, the

LRC

is

problems that groups of candidates must solve

series of
in

two

in

first try.

Drowned Rats
A unique training exercise
through

full

doing great Most candidates,

At SOG's

10 minutes, using limited resources.

complex, the

LRC

is

made up

training

many

of about 12 stations,

of which have water barriers, steel tubing, and concrete

one

walls. In

ammo

heavy

scenario, candidates are told to

box

and

themselves

and then across

high wall

move

over an 8-foot-

5-foot-wide water barrier.

Strung across the pool of water are

five

loosely slung

SOG's primary

firing

range with

five

shooting distances.

It

is

designed so that vehicles can be dnven out on the pavement,


allowing operators to practice

movement and cover

drills.

The

range can also be modified to include building facades, pop-up

and spinning
in

targets, etc. Low-light shooting drills are

the evenings, with strobe

make "shoot/no shoot"

drills

The tower

is

the middle

in

lights

more

conducted

being occasionally used to


difficult

for the operators.

where the range master controls

tar-

gets and the shooting tempo. 5F Tomajczyk

chains. The candidates are to accomplish this task with-

out touching either the water or anything painted red.

Of

course, just about everything

painted red, the

is

chains are extremely wobbly, and anything that you

could possibly use to your advantage

so that you

is

greased

down

slip.

cross a 25-foot-wide pool of water using just

boards

How

good are

members
mean the

that together

measure

two

a total of 10 feet. In the

do people work together?

well

follow the strongest person. By strongest,


individual

another scenario, the candidates are ordered to

In

How

their tactical solving skills? In the end, the unit

who

necessarily the

is

cises during their

out the

stand on them, and there are six people

in

Needless to say candidates get soaked

falling

ered head-to-foot

in

in

drowned

slime. (Did

the water barriers are

water

like

filled

rat

into the

and are cov-

forget to mention that

with

stale,

algae-ridden

the summer?)

The purpose

of the

Preparation for Deployment

When

in

action.

Who

is

end

after

the Qualification Course

27

didates out of an original 60 or so

comes to an

finally

days, there are typically only


still

about

can-

standing. After

these survivors are assigned to a particular

SOG

team,

they return to their District Office and resume their

LRC

is

to give

SOG

team com-

manders the opportunity to witness the dynamics of


unit

normal training sessions held through-

year.

the exercise.

water that they're not supposed to touch. By the end of


the day, everyone looks

physically

The lessons learned from the Leadership Reaction


Course are so valuable that SOG Teams do LRC exer-

can be used. Problem

only one person at a time can

the loudest and most persistent, not

most strong

middle of the pool are three vertical concrete posts that


is,

a leader?

Who

builds consensus?

normal law enforcement


train with their

training session,

new team
which

is

duties.
until

the

held at a

They don't meet or


unit's

next scheduled

minimum

of every six

77

months. When

SOG

Team

arrives,

it

members

all

of that particular

Center

to the Tactical

travel

Camp

at

Beauregard. Then, for the next three weeks, they hone

and assault

their shooting

This

SOG Teams

train only twice a year,

Individuals train

And
fit

their

if

skills.

not to suggest, however, that members of

is

on

because they don't.

a regular basis at their District Office.

SOG Team

from the mission

is

deployed, they not only bene-

itself,

but also from any training time

they are able to take advantage of while out

Keep

in

SMG

on

mind that

training

the

in

field.

not restricted to shooting a

is

a firing range. Training also delves into

many

other topics, such as breaching techniques, rappelling,

room entry tactics, first aid, and more. The foundation of


many of these can be taught through manuals and audiovisual tools.

During tenure with the Special Operations

Group, there

always something to learn.

is

When SOG members


teams

Camp

at

get together with their

Beauregard, the

first

few days are spent

on the weapons range, shooting 9-mm Colt


Smith

& Wesson

Mod

.45 caliber

SMGs

and

645 (or .357 magnum)

handguns at targets from various distances.The instructors start the training off slowly, so that

team members

SOG

Realistic-looking targets used by

Operators are trained to

ranges.

on the

and accuracy, and to shoot only hostile targets

weapon

dishing a

second

only a

split

to

their

fire

hostage's

in a

threatening manner). This

is

is

on

vital

and

(i.e..

those bran-

whether or not

a mission,

where

consistent operators are

right

in firing

shows

how

just

SOG

determined by the competence of the

operator The target on the

rifle

means they have

after seeing a target to decide

weapon. Such control

life

pistol

between speed

find a balance

accurate and

weapons; The center has

their

been chewed away Indoor shooting can be done using a FATS


simulator,

which

is

found inside a nearby

building,

SFJomofzyk

can cement relationships with each other, as well as


build self-confidence

That

all

their shooting abilities.

in

tice vehicle

changes, however, with time. Perhaps the

when

the team

first

indication

light

shooting exercise. The

is

SOG

is

summoned

for a low-

operators arrive at the

main weapons range after the sun has set.Then, under a


strobe

light's

distracting flashes, the

Shadow

Stalkers

have to shoot (or not shoot) at targets that spin around


at

them on the

firing

the doorways and

range.The targets are hidden inside

windows

operator has to decide

not to shoot as he moves

of a building facade.

in a split

down

instant

the

firing line.

get

is

of a criminal wielding a gun, he shoots.

get

is

mother holding

stressful
it

any

drill,

and the

a baby,

An

whether or

he restrains

If

If

it

takes five to six

(it

provides the use of

its

via

exercise

Army
Hawk and Huey helibattle drills (a mock town

Black

copters), and close-quarters


facilitates this).
field

armed oper-

properly), helicopter insertions (the

in

They may

do

also

two- to three-day

which they are Inserted into the woods

helicopter and then have to stealthily

make

their

way

to a target miles away, conduct reconnaissance, and then

do

takedown

in

the middle of the night, using night

vision goggles, tear gas,

SMGs, and

flashbangs.

SOG

often

the tar-

three stories

his fire.

It's

make

SOG

wide variety of exercises

and classroom instructions. For example, they may prac-

tall,

features movable
figured to

house

For the remainder of their training session,

78

takedowns

uses a warehouse for this particular exercise. Standing

easier.

do

the tar-

flashing strobe light doesn't

team members experience

ators to

is

the nondescript, gray-painted building

plywood

walls inside that can be con-

match any type of structure.

In fact,

the ware-

often used during real operations to mimic the

blueprint design of the actual target, so that an

team can do dress rehearsal


on the mission.

SOG

assaults before deploying

The day

warehouse,

visited the

to represent an apartment building.

members had

Once

SOG Team

door with explo-

they moved swiftly through the small,


rooms toward their objective, shoot-

inside,

furniture-strewn

ing hostile targets with precision fire along the way.

heavily

in

was

told that

SOG

practices similar assaults

varying lighting conditions, as well as

ments,

(The

pocked targets and mannequins attested to the

accuracy.)

in

which CS or

CN

tear gas

is

SOG

was configured

assaulted the building from the outside,

gaining entrance by breaching a rear


sives.

it

Earlier,

in

gas environ-

dispersed, thus

target

in

bit of time on
where they move toward a

operators also spend quite a

the Pistol Stress Course,

pairs using parked vehicles, fences,

and mail-

boxes as cover As they approach the hollow buildings


that

makeup the course, they

practice covering each

other while shooting at hostile targets and reloading.

During

this,

all

or blue

instructors

out which targets

yell

red

Shadow Stalkers should shoot at. The


Course also serves as a decent-but-basic

the

Pistol Stress

outdoor

facility in

practice

moving

which a six-member assault force can


in

"Snake" formation to an objective

forcing the assault

and then rehearse various room entry techniques, such

realistic,

as the

telling

team to wear gas masks. To be more


instructors often move walls around without

change from their blueprints over the years, as occupants add a closet here, close off a wall there, and

doorways to meet

surprises teach an assault

how

move

their personal needs. These type of

team how to be

flexible

and

Buttonhook and Crisscross.

Supplementing

the team. This reflects the fact that buildings

"Glass House"

In

the

are exercises

world,

real

known

SOG

as

doesn't

always have time to build a scale model of the building


they'll

be

assaulting, so they

ods to practice
often used

to quickly modify their takedown strategy.

this training

drills.

in

their

have to rely on other meth-

choreography The Glass House

these circumstances.

It

is

consists of putting

tape on the floor or ground to represent the walls (albeit


nonexistent) that

make up the rooms and corridors of


Then the assault team rehearses its

the target building.

entry technique, using the tape as a guideline.

For

SOG visits its Urban


mock-up of a small town. It is
few miles away from SOG's main firing

more

Center, which
located a

realistic training,
is

range, behind a barbed-wired security fence. When

was

first

be comprised of several blocks


types of commercial buildings

cery store,

homes

for

due to the

Two

operators demonstrate

Pistol Stress

ing

how

a building entry

Course. They have been

toward the

target, while covering

and reloading their

9-mm

Colts.

stealthily

is

and

done on the
fluidly

mov-

each other, shooting targets

The course

features fences,

mail boxes). Each

gates, passageways,

and obstacles

building structure

color coded; a range master dictates which

one the operators

is

will assault, as

gets (red or blue) will be shot

at.

(e.g. cars,

well as which color-coded tar-

SFTomojczyk

it

designed, the Urban Center was intended to

city hall,

SOG

filled

(e.g.,

with different

post

office,

power company) and

to practice

its

lack of funds, only

assaults on.

gro-

residential

However,

one block of structures

was actually built.The Urban Center is ideal for urban


combat and close-quarters battle training. For example, a SOG team can fast rope from a UH-I or UH60 helicopter into the town, and quickly deploy to
the objective

where they

establish sniper/observer

teams and begin conducting reconnaissance. When an


assault plan is finalized, the team then breaches the
building

(with

or without the use of explosives),

sends any tango on a

visit

to God, and rescues the

79

hostages. Such training

invaluable

is

in

preparing

SOG

for the real thing.


unlikely that the Special

It is

ever

finish building its

Operations Group

Urban Center There

ment among Department of Justice


idate

training

"Duplication

Havens.

"If

in

is

think

avoid

and another gets

don't

cost effective." Havens points out that finishing


isn't really

use Hogan's Alley at the FBI


so-called "Training City"

Department

in

necessary, since

Academy

at

in

SOG

Virginia,

can

or the

Metro Dade

the

He does

Florida.

drawback to using these other

Police

admit, however, that a

facilities

being able to

is

into the schedule.

teams to

its

terterrorist

Group

Six,

its

other

provide the use of their

budget,

elite

teams around the world (and vice


facilities

facilities,

beneficial to the
I

SOG

from someone

is

else

the training

be

team, given the constraints of budget

designed for one military purpose,


skills

will, in fact,

want to spend my time with

would be good to know (but are not

able) to the civilian law

available to
units,

enforcement

role,

of those

really applic-

or

is

it

better

undergo the

which are so
available

for

training

exercises,

cult to

send teams

respond to
shifts,

crises.

it is diffi-

be able to

still

People may be working different

difficult

to

pull

a task that

supersedes

may

training. Thus,

enough operators together

it

for extend-

ed time periods.

One

interesting aspect of

SOG

is

that

it

often pro-

vides tactical training to foreign law enforcement units

under an

MoU from

the Department of State.The walls

of the Tactical Center are adorned with plaques thank-

SOG

has imparted advanced tactical

for

its

training efforts.

Over the
skills

years,

to the

SOG

Greek

National Police, Bolivian National Police, Poland's Anti-

individual agency?"

Budgetary concerns and training appropriateness

is

and

law

civilian

they may be serving collateral duties, or they

be involved with
is

off for training

ing

another matter that

weapon without

cross-training. Unlike military

and mirrors the mission you have been assigned by your

eration

crouched so that he

large that a handful of operators are

to seek out another training source that better serves

aside,

is

a spring to fire his

enforcement teams are generally so small that

a unit that's

when some

like

SEAL

environment." However, he does point out that you

and time. "Do

Cipe-^aior laeaiiy using

getting out of his shooting platform position. SF Jomojczyk

Stagg. "I can't identify any unit that

certain that the training

protection, and he

move up and down

always
there." says

in

ballistic

me

cii/, /;Vi

positioned behind the car's engine block,

is

coun-

military units only

or expose themselves to someone else

make

which provides

He

can

members.

reluctant to try to learn something

have to

iuus mocK

ai

some

they do not directly

"The opportunities are always

Commander Lou

shooioui

versa). In

of Delta Force,

GIGN,GSG-9,and SAS.The

SOG

in

is

sporadically sends

train at the facilities of

the past, this included the

Team

the car for coven

Depending on how much money


the Special Operations

train

Ray

complex.

a training

has (traditionally) occurred, and

it

the Urban Center

of

duplication.

ludicrous," says

is

get a training building, another agency gets

how

it's

work

agencies to consol-

to

as

law enforcement

a bigger building,

This

so

assets,

will

move-

is

SOG

must take

into consid-

whether or not there are enough personnel

Terrorist Squad, Philippine Naval Intelligence, and the

Jordanian Public Security Police. Closer to home,

SOG

has also helped train the U.S. Border Patrol, INS, and

BATF

Entry Control Teams. Most of these training ses-

sions last four


at

40-acre

its

SOG

weeks and are conducted by

staff

house, the assault teams go through Glass House

Not enough
a

facility.

can be said for just

team rehearse every minute

how

important

detail of

its

drills.

it is

that

entry chore-

ography. Lives are at stake.

Going Wheels-Up
When a crisis arises somewhere

SOG

States and
for

is

While
the United

in

needed to respond to

deployment comes either

directly

it,

the order

from the

U.S.

Attorney General through a request to the Director of

this

more

going on, one or

is

conference rooms at

SOG

of the available

Headquarters

an operations center to coordinate

room

team's deployment. Nearly every

turned into

is

aspects of the

all

of the building

loaded with telephone jacks, which allow

is

command

the Marshals Service, or from the Director/Deputy

posts to be quickly established and expanded as need-

Director of Marshals Service after receiving a request

ed. Simultaneously palletized

from

unmarked vans to be placed aboard

District

Office.

Either

Operations Group cannot deploy

way,
until

it

the

Special

has received

written permission from the headquarters directorate

Once

staff.

the marching orders are given,

SOG

alerts

the on-call team, which assembles at the Tactical Center

An advance team

is

and weapons

aircraft,

MPSs, sniper

(e.g.,

equipment

9-mm

loaded into

is

from SOG's basement arsenal are

rifles)

is

ready to go wheels-up.

Adjacent to the Tactical Center

is

a large Army heli-

main body to begin conducting intelligence and prepare

port that berths numerous UH-I Iroquois and

everything for the team's

Kiowa Warrior

Meanwhile, the Shadow Stalkers hone their shootranges and rehearse entry proce-

ing skills

on the

dures

the warehouse, which

in

firing

is

quickly configured to

match the blueprint of the building they


ing.

If

there

is

will

be assault-

not enough time to reconfigure the ware-

H&K

Colt SMGs,

checked and made ready for use.Within hours, the team

immediately sent out ahead of the

arrival.

USMS

or

military

in

its

(On some

unarmed Kiowa Warriors

has used
sions;

helicopters.

OH-58

occasions,

SOG

for scouting mis-

forward-looking infrared sensors are invaluable

tracking fugitives at night.) This grass-field heliport can

SOG

be used by

to expeditiously deploy by helicopter

where larger aircraft are loaded and


more private departure or arrival is

to a nearby airport
waiting to go.

If

needed,

SOG

Center

as a mini

can use the back parking lot of the Tactical

fencing, the lot

is

heliport. Encircled

big

enough for

by barbed-wire

UH-60

Black

Hawk

Over the years, this paved lot has seen visits


from many elite units, including the Army's 60th SOAR.
to land

in.

Inside the

Red October

Depending on the nature of the


responding

What

SOG
ammo

the well-dressed

pounds of weapons,
tactical vest, radio,

SF Tomajczyk

Nomex

to,

command

post

Olympics,

SOG

available to

operator

is

magazines,

the deployed team

it:

at

the

scene.

had two Mobile

crisis

that

may need
Prior

to

the

Command

a 75-foot-long tractor trailer

SOG

is

a mobile

1996

Centers

known

as

wearing these days: 30


ballistic

Kevlar helmet,

gloves, bulletproof vest,

and tear

gas.

"Red October"

(a.k.a.

known

November" (a.k.a. Little Red). The Red


its name from author Tom Clancy

as "Blue

Big Red)

and a 35-foot-long van

October, which got


after he

walked through the vehicle and noticed

red interior

lights,

is

technologically the

all

the

most advanced

81

November's communications
lar
lite

capabilities include cellu-

secure telephones.VHF
STU
TV link, UHFA^HF air-to-ground radio,

phones,

equipment

III

(e.g.,

radio, satel-

surveillance

closed circuit television), TV monitors,

system, VCRs, and

computers.

Externally, the vehicle has electrical outlets

and hookups

navigation

satellite

for additional telephones and satellite communications.

The van can communicate with commercial


with any law enforcement agency
Unlike the Red October, Blue

ported by C-5 and C-17

on

in

November

aircraft,

aircraft

and

the United States.

can be trans-

which allows

it

to be

within hours.

site

Both the Red October and Blue November were

The Red October was

present at the 1996 Olympics.

Nerve centers

for

October

Red

crises:

November, high-tech mobile command


equipped with conference rooms,

posts.

Blue

If

located

mobile

you look closely you

double width. Also, note the security monitor atop the Blue
In

by the USMS,

996, the Red

who

found

October was handed over to FEMA


too expensive to operate,

Marshals Service and

the world.

It

stands
is

feet,

6 inches

tall,

expandable to 22 feet

width using a hydraulic system.

awesome

its

capabilities,

Inside, the vehicle fea-

receive stations

room

TVs that can


worldwide. The Red October also has a
outfitted with

an expeditious

in

it

The Future
The

in

tures a security area, conference room, communications


crisis

for

the

Olympics concluded, the Red October was handed


In

the vehicle's gargantu-

an size and weight simply proved to be too

weighs 85,000 pounds and

room, and a

areas

during the Games. After the

over to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

deploy

in

SOG

they served as

U.S.

Marshals Service

vehicle

downtown Atlanta. Together,


command posts and staging

in

spite of
it

Dobbins AFB, and the Blue November was

at

and

can see that a portion of the Red October's trailer expands to

November

based

They are both

galleys, v^/eapons lockers,

communication centers.

state-of-the-art

and

(left)

of the

manner during

difficult

to

crisis.

SOG

future of the Special Operations

Group

is

and foremost, the current administration at

bright. First

USMS Headquarters is trying to more tightiy define


how the unit will be employed, so that is not inapproit

priately

used.

To

this

end

Deputy Director Ray

is

kitchenette that can prepare a five-course meal for 30

Havens' vision for a stand-alone, dedicated team that

to 40 people for up to a month. The vehicle

can train full-time

that

it

takes

cannot be

two

even by military

aircraft.

It

qualified drivers with special licenses to drive

Red October to
gallon).

airlifted,

so large

is

a crisis location (at four miles to the

Every penny of the more than $1 million dollars

that has been sunk into the

Red October came from

The Blue November


Service

in

arrived

at

the

Marshals

994. This smaller vehicle has a communica-

tions center, conference area, galley, and a secured lock-

er

82

for

weapons and other

sensitive

items.

Blue

support of the agency's key mis-

SOG now

has adequate training

as well as state-of-the-art

"We

in

Havens
prove

and firepower,

can set a briefcase on a table and communicate

anywhere
involved

facilities

communications equipment.

some communications equipment now

have

where

seized drug asset money, not taxpayer's dollars.

in

The administration is also trying to increase the


amount of resources to support SOG. For example.
sions.

in

the world," boasts Havens.


is

also a participant

in

a task force that

is

declassifying military technology that could

beneficial for the Special

Operations Group. This

includes less-than-lethal technologies that could be used

to apprehend

someone without

seriously injuring or

him.

killing

Perhaps the only obstacle confronting the U.S.

which was shattered

Ruby

as

now

in

Ridge.

is

its

public relations image,

August 1992, at

remote place

team of deputy marshals was

convinced themselves that the Special

Operations Group

comprised of trigger-happy

is

commandos. This

tary

Marshals Service right

known

pie have also

truth. Less than half the team's

members

have military

experience and, more importantly, they are selected for

SOG

because they do show restraint and

specifically

clear-headedness

"The

sent out into the mountainous region of northern

in

stressful situations.

facts are,

when those

guys went there (to

was no way, shape, or form

Idaho to conduct surveillance of white supremacist

Weaver's

Randall

Weaver in preparation of serving an arrest warThe marshals unexpectedly ran into armed 1424-yearyear-old Samuel Weaver and a family friend
near the Weaver cabin. Sam and
old Kevin Harris

there's

rant.

went there to do anything other than conduct an

Deputy

cabin), there

not one

scintilla

er operation.They

were not planning to

fight that

arrest that man,"

Havens.

says

know who

brief fire-

first

began when

that

in

shot.

our people did

Havens

very

if

Randall

stances.

Weaver had

simply

points out,

gone to court
other

likely

policy

now

IS

had

famous

star of the U.S. Marstials Service.

days of Deputy U.S. Marshal Wyatt Earp (of

still

is

paying the price.

In

some
Operations Group is
the minds of

to blame for the tragedy, even though the surveillance

mission of Randy Weaver was not an

SOG

mission. (Yes,

Degan happened to be the commander of Task Force


at the time, but he was the only SOG person at Ruby
I

He

marshals

789 and

ments that

OK

Corral fame). SF Tomajczyk

made

in

had been invited to accompany the other


their surveillance

efforts.) These same peo-

best to

advocate for the

denouncing

it.

After

all,

unit,

SOG

since 1971

But

uninformed Americans, the Special

Ridge.

has been around since

them

the tragedy at Ruby Ridge did happen, and the Marshals


Service

It

perhaps most often associated by the public with the "Wild West," during the

no previous
record.

force

rules-of-

standard."

erally

criminal

and

all

the successful deployTtie

he

we

Considering

gotten

sentence, since

and

engagement that are

never

either probation or a
small

it,

deadly

Justice

like

would have happened,


and Weaver would
have

We've learned

have a Department of

citizen

incident

this

very,

circum-

difficult

lessons from

as orig-

requested

inally

any

the

know

just

do under some

the deputy marshals.

Ray

don't

"I

fired

the best job they could

Sam's dog sniffed out

As

intelli-

gence mission and make observations for an undercov-

William Degan were


killed

that they ever

of evidence

Marshal

U.S.

mili-

couldn't be further from the

hundreds
perhaps

instead

has

lit-

of
it's

of blindly

the Special Operations

Group

does a tremendous amount of good for the United


States. They protect

our courts and federal witnesses

from acts of terrorism, and they hunt down and arrest


dangerous

fugitives.

Granted,

in

a free society,

you can

never protect every building and every person from

harm, but the highly trained and versatile Shadow


Stalkers certainly

try.

83

.^^^'

'<^

CHAPTER

Out Super Terrorism:

Snuffing

NEST
"It's

and Other

only a matter of time before the United States

will

that

be forced to

Elite

Forces Journal International October 1995

1975, the threat of nuclear terrorism almost

An

reality.

individual threatened to

paid $200,000.

along

To prove

some diagrams

of

became

blow up the

Boston with an improvised nuclear device

if

city

of

he was not

was serious, he sent


weapon to federal officials.

that he
his

much concern. At
the time, the United States had no way to respond to
such a threat So arrangements quickly were made to pay
Their seeming authenticity gave them

the ransom, but the extortionist never picked

the

bomb

where

is

it

hoax or

did

it

truly exist?

real,

officials

which

awake to the

bombs to
the more likely

of terrorists using nuclear

achieve their goals. This also extended to


in

was

if it

terrorists detonate a

much

"normal"

bomb

There are vast quantities of nuclear weapons and material


v^/orld

grubby paws on.

from the Cold War that

In

1991, the terrorist group Islamic Jihad offered

to buy a nuclear

weapon from

research center.

1993. Iraq offered the

In

terrorists can get their

for a warhead. Fortunately

Deportment of Defense

Russia's

none of these

Arzamas- 6 nuclear

same

in

radiation poisoning, and

And so

Known

"Nuclear Ninjas,"
Energy's Office of

bomb

at the

would have died from

downtown Manhattan would

as "America's

this unit

Team (NEST)

Atomic A-Team" and

part of the

is

still

to.)

the Nuclear Emergency Search

created.

weapons

as a radiation

993, the effects would have been

be too contaminated to return

was

known

is

disastrous. Thousands of residents

Department of

Emergency Response. NEST

is

tasked

with finding and disarming nuclear devices, as well as providing technical support to the FBI,

which has

cases involving nuclear threats.The unit

is

jurisdiction

comprised of

more

than 750 volunteer scientists, engineers, and techni-

cians

from the

national laboratories

Sandia) and other agencies.

located at the

Beware

of the

Los Alamos,

(e.g.,

Key components of NEST are

Nevada Operations

and at Andrews AFB

around the

easier to acquire than

terrorists used this type of

World Trade Center

in

real possibility

scenario

Was

today?

This incident slapped federal

very

And

up.

it

is

grade uranium.This type of device

bomb. (Had
In

Units

laced with radioactive material like "hot" medical

is

waste, which

grapple with the specter of nuclear, biological, or chemical terrorism."

Armed

SIX

Office, Nellis AFB (NV),

just outside of

the nation's capitol.

Boogey Man!

Nuclear terrorism

is

small nuclear device,

all

not farfetched. To build a


a terrorist

needs

is

two

facility

$2

billion

efforts succeeded. U.S.

things:

information

building information

underscored

in

the

and
is

nuclear

material.

readily available,

early

1980s

by

Bomb

which was
Princeton

85

KEEPING WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

OUT OFTHE UNITED

STATES

The U.S. Customs Service stops terrorist tools from entering the United States, and prevents
technology and weapons from being sent to hostile nations. To achieve

who

6,000 inspectors

check people and cargo

at

more

Investigations,

which has 2,400

special agents,

customs has

than 300 ports of entry, including inter-

national airports, seaports, and land borders. Supplementing this effort

officers,

this,

marine enforcement

officers,

along with 323 pilots and 300 intelligence analysts. Together, they

customs' Office of

is

and

work

capability to

a belt like a beeper,

is

so sensitive that

it

examine baggage and bulk cargo,

on people. The

latter device,

who

sounds an alert on people

which fastens

have had radiation

therapy for cancer.


In

the

war

C/B

agents, the

Customs Service

is

exploring the use of chemical agent

monitors (CAM) and back-scatter X-ray devices.

Customs

has been successful

in its

antiterrorism efforts.

In

1992,

it

thwarted the purchase

weapons and weapons-grade uranium that was being sent to Iraq. And in June
1994, three New York residents were arrested for trying to ship nuclear-grade zirconium to Iraq
(via Italy). U.S. Customs special agents seized S tons of the zirconium in a warehouse in the New

of tactical nuclear

York metropolitan

86

threats

area.

fortunately,

but,

been hoaxes so

all

fan

The Nuclear Emergency Search

Team

is

the

special

unit

that

responds to threats and quickly


determines whether or not they
are real.This

bomb

against

1975,

the

sensor-loaded vans that patrol borders, portal radiation detectors to check vehicles and container cargo, and radiation pagers to detect radiation

the United

of a nuclear device. Since

they have

equipment with radiation detection

in

there have been numerous nuclear


terrorist

at plugging

For example, customs agents use high-tech sensors to locate nuclear materials. They have

on

scene that no one

States wants to see: the detonation

air interdiction

terrorist pipeline.

fixed X-ray

photo

ground

test

Romeo

Event)

MT

is

of an

in

an

above-

(Operation

Castle,

exploding

in

1954.

II

LLNL

University student

bomb

who

designed

briefcase size

using public documents. This openness

is

fur-

ther complicated by the thousands of unemployed


Russian nuclear scientists,
to

many

of

whom

are willing

provide their knowledge of nuclear weapons

design to the highest bidder

As
to get

hands on 18 pounds of 94-percent pluto-

nium-239 (about the

pounds of
steal

it

amateur only needs

for nuclear material, an


his

size

of a grapefruit)

highly enriched uranium.

or buy

it

on the black-market.

He

or 55

can either

In

than 687 pounds of nuclear material was

ed by police from traffickers worldwide.

994,

more

confiscat-

And

that's

only what they managed to catch. Plutonium

elements

which can

not highly radioactive

few tenths of

be

come

in

disks that weigh a

pound and resemble hockey pucks.

They are easy to conceal


the door with.

in

Theft of nuclear material

pocket and walk out

Soviet

is

increasing, especially

rods were cut off from a

fuel

In

1993,

two

assembly at the

Chernobyl nuclear plant and disappeared. This,

in

pounds of uranium

reactor

naval

was

seized

from

fuel

More

Kiev.

in

Czech made arrangements to acquire


pounds of uranium a month from a Russian supplier
for a client. The supplier promised they could give
him 88 pounds of uranium immediately, and up to a
ton in the long term. These are just three incidents of
recently, a

dozens reported
not alone.

in

the past few years, and Russia

demonstrates

Africa. This

is

1994, 130 barrels of enriched uranium

In

waste was stolen from

storage
that

facility

theft

South

in

can

happen

wherever nuclear materials are found.


In

the United States, security

is

much

tighter For

example, the Department of Energy employs

some

4,500 guards to watch over nuclear weapons and

facili-

ties

under

its

control.

Many

of these guards are former

military (e.g.. Delta Force, SEALs,


sites are

since the collapse of the Soviet Union.


fuel

security. In 1995, 13

fuel

safely held, since they are

had high

spite of the fact that the reactor building

Green

protected by two continuous

Berets). Storage

lines

of intrusion

detection sensors, as well as by imaging systems

perimeter fencing,

lighting

(e.g.,

detectors), buttress

closed-circuit TV, radar, infrared

and clear zones. Additionally,

huge concrete "King Tut" blocks are placed


bulk storage buildings; a forklift

is

in

front of

needed to remove

them. Tamper-proof magnetic switches and other intrusion detection devices are placed

dows

of the

facility. If

on

all

doors and win-

anyone attempts to break

sensors notify a security control center, which

24 hours a

When

is

in,

the

staffed

day.

nuclear warheads are transported, they

are stored inside fireproof, coffin-like supercontainers


that have security features to protect
rorist attacks. These containers,

them from

which can survive

terhits

from 7.62-mm armor-piercing ammo, are transported


by either a special vehicle (a.k.a. Safe Secure Transport
Vehicle) or an

Various

armored nuclear weapons cargo

train.

sometimes, the

U.S.

military

units

(and,

Marshals Service's Missile Escort Unit) provide armed

guard over the warheads, as they are

moved around

the United States.

rare look at NEST's shoulder patch. Sf

hmajczyk

87

As you can

see,

it

would be

difficult for terrorists

to get their hands on nuclear material


States,

which

why

is

the United

in

tells

the FBI that the terrorists

they focus their efforts elsewhere.

If

a threat

for assistance

The Threat Assessment Process


Since

mobilized

1975,

NEST

itself

to

Fortunately,

has evaluated

won't change with the next phone

When

cer,

10 threats and

respond to about 30 of them.

have been hoaxes. But

all

who

is

to say that

the FBI receives a nuclear threat,

along the information

passes

it

DoE Threat Assessment

has to

it

NEST

and

deemed

is

credible, the FBI asks the

from NEST. Alerted by an

immediately assembles

equipment.

detection

its

Much

laboratories can be

be wheels-up
sis

in

high-tech search

In fact,

is

capability for

already

entire mini-

wheeled aboard aircraft.The

airlift

DoE

on-call duty offi-

of this

prepackaged for quick deployment.

Force provides

call?

may not know what they

are doing, since they are plagiarizing from a public source.

U.S. Air

NEST.The team can

four to 24 hours, depending on the

and the type of equipment that must be

cri-

sent.

Teams (NN-62).These teams, which are scattered around


the country, are
linguists,

made up

the data and determine

or not

of scientists,

and psychologists.

a critical

if

At

weapons

least three

the threat

is

valid

and whether

mass can be achieved. They also decide

whether the person has the resolve to use the


it is

the end, the answer they

real. In

itive

experts,

teams review

give

weapon

must be

if

a defin-

Stamping Out Nuclear

Fires

The first crucial task for NEST is to find the bomb.


They divide the target city into a search grid and then
use

aircraft, helicopters,

using

gamma

and vans to explore the area

ray sensors

sensitive devices detect

and neutron sensors. These

minute changes

in

natural radi-

"yes" or "no." "Maybes" are not allowed. All of the

teams must independently reach the same conclusion.


In

September 1995,

was

for example, the FBI

told

was in
weapon was supposedly
metropolitan New York area. The FBI

that a Middle Eastern group

possession of a

Russian nuclear device. This


located

the

in

passed the technical information over to the assessment


teams, which determined the threat to be a hoax.
earlier instance, however,
site

case

to determine

if

NEST

had

the device was nuclear

which occurred

in

1991

in

Sparks,

NEST

used

special

its

in

determined that the device was harmless.

DoE

an

equipment to look

with. They

and

jimiLiiiiE'lllIffl

out what they were dealing

box and

As part

^issiiyi

a casino

inside the

figure

an

that

In

Nevada

extortionist had chained a device to a pole


restaurant.

In

to actually visit the

of the threat assessment process, the FBI

run the terrorist's blackmail letter and any other

available data (e.g., diagrams,

messages) through a com-

NEST

["las

two components; those who search

device and those

puter at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory that

compares

this

information with

known

cles, scientific
ists "lifted"

extortion

including

newspaper

reports, and even spy novels.

If

phrase from a book and used

letter,

the computer

will

quickly

arti-

the terrorit

their

in

know

it

This

disarm

it.

for the nuclear

Here two searchers check out a

stadium dunng an exercise. The briefcases they carry are actual-

published doculy

ments about nuclear weapons,

who

gamma

ray detectors that sense the presence of a nuclear

bomb. When

radiation

is

detected, an alarm

is

sounded

in

a small

earphone worn by the searchers. The detecting equipment can


also
as

be carried

inside innocent-looking

not to alarm the

public.

backpacks and coolers, so

Department of EnergylNOO

close look at the "guts" of a

briefcase.

gamma

ray detector posing as a

Department of Energ^lNOO

Scientists

onto

trom the Remote Sensing Lab overlay radiation patterns

aerial

photographs and maps. The overlays show the

ent concentrations of radiation

in

differ-

the search area(s), and can indi-

cate the presence of hidden nuclear material

(e.g.,

uranium, pluto-

nium) or a nuclear bomb. The radiation readings are taken by


craft, vans,

To

find a

hidden nuclear device.

NEST

uses fixea-Aing aircraft

laboratory on wheels, ready to be placed aboard a plane and

and helicopters that are equipped with radiation detectors to

flown anywhere

quickly scan a suspected area, flying at low altitudes.

a "hot

lab,

equipped vans

lab.

spot" reading

is

given, search

narrow down the search

shows
skids.

MBB 05C
1

The

seats

make room

for

in

until

AFB

in

the

helicopter with a

specially

bomb is found. This photo


gamma pod strapped to its

the helicopter's cabin have been removed to

computers and other measuring equipment.

aerial surveillance aircraft are

at Nellis

teams and

If

housed

at

the

air-

and/or search teams. Deportment ofEnerg/INOO

in

the world.

generator video
This photo

technician and

is

lab,

NEST

has

of the photo

lab,

lab,

tion-sensitive films.

and a mechanical

which comfortably seats one

provides that person with

needed to develop and enlarge

cargo pods; photo

five

communications

aerial

all

the equipment

photographs and radia-

Department of nergy/NOO

All

Remote Sensing Lab

Nevada. Deportment ofEnerg^lNOO

89

ation that might suggest the

location

Supplementing

NEST

this

effort are

carry radiation detection equipment


crystal detectors) hidden inside
es.

Armed

(e.g.,

who

sodium iodide

backpacks and briefcas-

with these sensors, they walk the streets

searching for the bomb. They

wear

civilian

clothes to

avoid panicking the public or alerting the terrorists to

As they

their presence.

Once

of the bomb.

volunteers

search, they listen for an alert

by the

FBI's

sive

is

from

fired

touches.

in

submachine guns and/or a high-adhe-

fire

weapon

multiple shots of the

pensed. Department of Energy

terrorists.

The

resin foam,

a special squirt gun.

legs,

he

will

Sprayed at a terrorist's

stick to himself

and anything he

The backpack-mounted gun can

fire

multiple

shots of the foam to 35 feet.

their ear.

1992, this less-than-lethal

der-slung gun can

the

If

Hostage Rescue Team. Depending on the

high-tech gun designed to "slime" nuclear terrorists and protect the United States' nuclear arsenal.

Laboratories

90

located, things get tense.

which was developed by Sandia National Laboratories,

broadcast from the sensing device to a wireless earin

is

foam to take out the

arms or

phone hidden

bomb

situation, they use

message that radiation has been detected. The message


is

the

weapon is guarded, the terrorists first have to be


removed from the equation. This task is accomplished

fires

foam to 35

SWATTeams and

the

a super glue-like
feet, The

FBI's

HRT

foam

Developed by Sandia National

at terronsts, immediately disabling

non-toxic foam

have access to

is

them. The 20-pound, shoul-

stored under pressure and expands 35-50 times

this

new weapon. Department

of Energy/Sondio

when

Natmal

dis-

Labs

Once

the terrorists are out of the picture, a special

component of NEST enters the scene: the dismantling


team. They have to disarm the bomb without making
any mistakes or setting off any booby traps. Needless to
say. it's not a task for the jinery or weak hearted. They
often work with the Army's 52nd Ordnance Group (Ft.
Gillem, Georgia)

disabling the device, especially

in

weapon or a
device. The 52nd

sive

if it

is

sophisticated improvised explo-

a military

has detachments

all

over the

United States, which hastens the response time.

Robotic equipment
at the

is

often used to take a

bomb. These remote-controlled

outfitted with video cameras, cutting devices

EOD

ulator arms. Scientists and

first

look

vehicles can be

and manip-

personnel miles away

can safely evaluate the device and figure out

how

to dis-

most nuclear bombs require conventional


explosives to start a chain reaction, NEST focuses on
the trigger mechanism. Sometimes a carefully placed

arm

Since

it.

problem.

bullet can resolve the

or

30-mm cannon

aimed

is

bomb

detonator. Then the

these instances, a

In

at a specific point

on the

enclosed within a 50-foot

is

diameter tent that stands 35-feet

tall.

This tent

filled

is

a conventional explosion.

thing

is

In

NEST

ready, the

situations

rifle

volunteers dress

foam barrier Once

in

is

bullet

to use a robot.

safes:,

NEST

a six-wheeled vehicle that

is

'.:

_,

uses a robot

known

as

ATOM

equipped with a manipulator arm

and stereo video cameras attached to

pan/tilt platforms.

The

cameras transmit their images back to NEST weapon designers


so they can determine

may

every-

Sandia

how

to disarm the bomb. This photo

reconnaissance robot, SARGE, being developed by

new

National

Laboratories.

Department of Energy/Sondia

fired.
is

not appropriate,

protective gear and enter the

inside,

is

Notional Labs

or cannon

where

When

bomb

shows

with a dense foam, which traps any radiation that

be released by

rifle

Sometimes the best (and

they carefully disarm the

to make

pressurized water and finely ground garnet


high-precision cuts

in

any material without causing heat

nuclear devise by hand. Before fiddling with anything,

or sparks. Such tools are used to cut into the fuselage

they often pour liquid nitrogen on the trigger mecha-

of an aircraft or the trailer of a truck to retrieve the

nism to freeze

its

electronics.

It's

safer that

way

nuclear material.

ARG
Responding to a "Broken Arrow"
If

is

there

involved

crash), the

is

in

a radiation release,

an accident

(e.g.,

Department of

Group (ARG)

or

if

train derailment, airplane

Energy's Accident

Response

NESTARG

is

comprised of volunteers from the national laboratories.


This team, which
is

trained

in

is

ready to respond within two hours,

can deploy

Alamos national laboratories. One such lab, known


as "Hot Spot," includes two trucks with portable
instruments and two trailers containing a sophisticated radiation-counting laboratory.

It

carries sur-

vey instruments for alpha, beta, gamma, and neutron


radiation.

Another mobile

lab,

"Ranger,"

is

van

evalu-

holding ground contamination survey systems that

and reducing radioactive hazards. They

provide isodose plots indicating what's contaminat-

weapons recovery operations and

ating, collecting

it

to the scene from Lawrence Livermore and Los

a nuclear device

called to the scene. Like

is

has several mobile labs that

use so-called "water knives"

in

a liquid abrasive jet of

ed and by

how much. A

third lab

is

"Rascal."

It

ana-

91

and adjacent areas for the

lyzes air at the scene

presence of different types of radiation.


Since

World War

II,

there have been 32 "Broken

Arrow" incidents (i.e., an accident involving a nuclear


weapon) that ARG has responded to. The last major
accident occurred in 1980 when a Titan ICBM exploded inside a missile

Every two years,

ARG

participates
ability

at the Naval

in

a full-scale

to respond to a
drill

Weapons

took place
Station

Yorktown.Virginia.The scenario revolved around a


ian

plane that had crashed into a loading

tained

nuclear weapons.

several

eight days

To

and involved

assist

ransom was not

million

from spent nuclear

The

pier,

two
The

civil-

in

lasted

exercise

In

Department of Energy has a Radiation


Emergency Assistance Center and Training Site
(REAC/TS) located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. A
response team can be deployed in an emergency, to
assist in nuclear incidents. These teams are typically
a physician, nurse, health physicist, cyto-

geneticist and radiobiologist.They are trained to perradiological triage,

decontaminate

word

bomb

nuclear

a military source.

field

exercises. This infre-

criticism lately

from Congress.

was held

Derringer," which

was "Mirage Gold," which was held

million to

some

16,

1994.

,200 players

implement, the scenario went

New Orleans

that an informant

was being held hostage by the

Middle Eastern terrorist group Patriots for National


Unity

(PNU)

safehouse near the airport. The FBI

at a

responded by staking out the building with

SWAT team, while


However,

was

in

it

deciding

quickly

became

danger, so the

3:30 A.M.
killed. In

HRT

how

its

regional

to resolve the incident

clear that the hostage's

The hostage was

freed and the six terrorists

the subsequent search of the building and inter-

views with the hostage, the FBI learned that the


intended to detonate a nuclear

Oak Ridge, which has a one-of-a-kind emergency


room for treating nuclear injuries. REAC/TS also

in

maintains a

list

United States

to find and disarm the


terrorists.

Command

of health professionals throughout the

were located

who

Warehouse Complex

are trained for radiation emer-

gencies. These people can be called

upon

in a crisis

to

bomb

in

New

Federal agencies descended on the city

can be transported to the Methodist Medical Center

life

assaulted the building around

people, assess radiation injuries, and determine the


patients

like

FBI Field Office received

extent of radiation poisoning. Seriously

ill

if

weapon was made

Orleans during the week of October

and cost $8

nine

which terror-

975, there have only been

Mirage Gold, which involved

the following.The

,600 people.

from
1

was "Mighty

986. The second

New

which con-

exercise

first

in

NEST and

in

homemade

multi-agency

full-fledged,

996),

paid.This

fuel stolen

quency has come under

in

with casualties of a nuclear accident or

form medical and

$3

a scenario

in

threatened to detonate a

ists

in

explosion, the

comprised of

were run prior to the 1996 Olympic

drills

"Mirrored Image" (March

Since NEST's creation

"Broken Arrow" event.The most recent

September 1995,

In

other agencies participated

silo.

exercise to test the military's

in

Several

Games.

in

bomb,

PNU

Orleans.

in

an effort

as well as to capture the

posts of the participating agencies

various buildings at the


in

Brown and Root

Gretna, Louisiana.The exercise

ran around the clock, 24 hours a day, until

:38 A.M.,

provide medical support.

October 2

Training for Disaster

Using helicopters, vans, and street walkers, they began

NEST was
Preparing for nuclear terrorism

NEST

is

constant

effort.

and other federal agencies routinely conduct

training exercises

whose scenarios anticipate the hormay one day inflict. For example, in

rors that terrorists

"Compass Rose,"

federal agencies tested to see

if

nuclear warhead could be stolen from a transport vehicle.

92

The

exercise

was held

in

San Diego.

their search
tial

areas,

in

deployed to locate the nuclear bomb(s).

earnest checking out buildings, residen-

and even the Superdome. Meanwhile, the FBI

hunted for members of the PNU. Through


tion, the FBI

of the

PNU

its

was able to determine the various


around

New

of the terrorist leader,

with four hostages.

investiga-

locations

Orleans, including the location

who was

aboard a leased boat

On

the morning of October

detected the presence of a nuclear

Chase Naval Air

Station.

was located

It

the end of one of the runways.

aboard the terrorist

was

prearranged time, the terrorist leader ordered

the Bell

henchmen

shed

at

guarded by

also

the site

in

9,

the terrorists at the Naval

van and went to another

As soon as they left the airport, NEST and


the 52nd Ordnance Group converged on the shed
where the nuclear weapon was located. They began
their analysis of the device, using photographs and Xsafehouse.

out

rays to figure

On October

how

rier,

to safely disarm

bomb

in

structure.

It

uled to

As

the

for the terrorist leader, he

was taken down

on the boat. The four people being held hostage


were subsequently set free, and New Orleans still
stands today, unharmed.

Since Mirage Gold, the

number

conskills

if

foam bar-

with

it

was schedgo

didn't

of field

drills

not put to use. The next major exercise on

a protective

bomb

of Energy
it

the scale of a Mirage Gold

bomb through the


worked. The bomb was

Department

ducts each year, acknowledging the fact that

has increased the

to encap-

disarmed less than 30 minutes before


detonate. When

and were

did,

arrested along the way.

dull

it.

and fire a disabling shot at the

wooden

out what happened. They

find

his

safehouse to return to the airport

was made

20, a decision

sulate the shed and

shed's

and

at the

by DevGroup, which conducted a maritime assault

leader's boat.

At noon on October
left

It

inside a

sensors

Another nuclear device was found

three terrorists.

Air Station

NEST
bomb at

18,

is

scheduled for 1998,

being

exercises

similar

held

every fours

years thereafter.

The Making

of a Witches'

Brew

Chemical and biological weapons are referred

off at the

atom bomb because they are


made and cause widespread death. Their use

to as the poor man's


easily

by terrorist groups frightens

since

officials, especially

the United States does not currently have a NESTlike

team

place to track

In

down and disarm

these

The emergency response mechanism now consists of a hodgepodge of different fed-

types of devices.

eral agencies
it's

and military

units. Officials

know

that

only a matter of time before "bugs and gas" are

used

the United States. Most C/B weapons can be

in

made

in

basement following Betty Crocker-like

recipes and using store-bought materials.

Over the

years there have been several incidents of terrorists

threatening to use witches' brew:

In

992, a neo-Nazi skinhead group planned to

children

Dense foam

is

used to contain radiation

device's conventional explosives

in

case a nuclear

go off This foam

a 50-foot diameter tent. Volunteers

from

NEST

52nd Ordnance Group enter the foam w/earing

is

contained

special suits

after having successfully

disarmed a nuclear

during a training exercise. Department of EnergylLANL

kill

center using

On

Easter

Oklahoma

weekend

in

1995, just days after the

City bombing, a group threatened to

and

disarm the bomb. This photo shows the volunteers emerging

from the foam

a Dallas Jewish day care

cyanide.

in

and the Army's

in

bomb

release Sarin nerve gas at Disneyland

The

FBI

in

California.

and other agencies responded to the threat,

which eventually was determined to be a hoax.

93

December

In

and

995, Thomas Lavy, an

was arrested

survivalist,

Army

along with
Army
HRT raided the Arkansas farm he was

agents

veteran

30 federal

after

biological warfare

U.S.

experts and a small deployment from the

They found

30 grams of

which was enough to

ricin

FBI's

staying at

on the premises,

30,000 people.

kill

The Bugs Are Coming!


Biological

warfare

tularemia, Q-fever) are

agents

weapons because they can


The Accident Ke^pOloc vjiuup
dents, which are

remains on constant

alert,

icaLb to

i^r^r\^j/

commonly known

Weapons

September

creating the

Station

995 exercise.

in

located on a pier at

is

Yorktown,

civilian

emergency There are

ARG

photo shows the

working on a military nuclear weapon that


Naval

dCCI-

ready to respond within two hours

plus flight time to the crisis site. This

the

iiuCical

as "Broken Arrows.'The team

Virginia,

during

plane crashed into the


five

ARG

elements

in

pier,

the

These agents are

that

you are under attack

In

than chemical

will

never

days afterward

until

like flies.

over a

and then disappear.

would,

It

in fact,

know
when

be easy

release a biological agent

city,

scenarios

like

this,

it

has been

determined that 100 pounds of anthrax spores released

upwind of

medium-size

city

Moines, Iowa, would disable or

United States, which are comprised of volunteers from the

Department of Energy and the

fly

so you

invisible,

people start dropping

anthrax, plague,

huge population cen-

affect

ters.

for a terrorist to

(e.g.,

more dangerous

of 500,000
half

kill

Des

like

the population.

The doomsday cultAum Shinrikyo understood

Deportment

national laboratories.

the stealthy and deadly nature of biological agents.

of Ener^lSandta National Labs

numerous

They conducted

experiments

using

anthrax and botulism, and even devised miniature

October 995, four members of the anti-government Minnesota Patriots Council were convicted

anthrax dispensers that

of planning to use ricin.a deadly toxin, to

capability, the cult sent a

In

al

poisonous substances known.


inhalation

is

ricin

It

can

kill

or ingestion. The extremists,

on hand to

November

kill

is

one of the most

about spreading the "government

flu,"

through

who

1,400 people.

member

which to disburse
being used
984. Two

members

the organism that causes bubonic plague.

EPA number and

pany's state certification to


teria

from

biomedical

illegally

supply

com-

obtain the baclab

Untreated bubonic plague has a case

about 50 to 60 percent.

his

for

$240.

fatality rate

of

sect also pur-

case of a biological agent


in

Oregon,

in

of a sect produced and disbursed

the bacteria that causes Salmonellosis, an intestinal dis-

local election.

Harris used a fraudulent

The

the United States occurred

in

ease,

of Versimo

biological warfare

biological agents.

The only documented

plead guilty to possessing three

vials

its

team of 40 to Zaire to

chased two radio-controlled drone aircraft from

1995, Larry Harris, an alleged

inside attache cases. In

fit

an effort to enhance

acquire the deadly Ebola virus.

joked

had enough

in

of the white supremacist group Aryan Nations,

pest/s,

94

feder-

agents and government vi/orkers. Ricin, which

derivative of the castor bean,

In

kill

1992,

in

restaurants

Don't

let this

logical terrorism.

state health

in

order to

sole case cause you to dismiss biolabs,

departments, and university laboratories

isms can be stolen or


in

outcome of a
ill.

There are hundreds of research

nationwide that have "bugs"

grown

affect the

Some 715 people became

a person's

in

their facilities.The organ-

legally/illegally

bathroom

lab.

purchased, and then


After chemical war-

warfare

fare, biological

is

the easiest type of terrorism

ical

wackos to pursue.

for

know

Officials

management so they can treat casualties. On the


team members learn how to operate

technical side,

which

why

they are pushing

chemical detection equipment, X-ray systems, gas chro-

so hard to create a national C/B response team similar

matograph/mass spectrometers, and portable isotopic

to

NEST.They are

this,

is

also conducting on-going exercises to

prepare existing responders for a biological attack.


April 1997, for instance,

FEMA

command

in

post

drill

held

sponsored

"III

neutron spectroscopic devices. Additionally, those


specialize in

In

Wind," a

Washington, D.C., that

bomb

how

disposal are taught

who

to disarm

C/B weapons.
According to

test-

ed the United States' response to a

Lt.

Col.

Timothy Madere, the TEU's

commander, each TEU

battalion

chemical agents.

member receives $60,000 worth of


training when they first arrive at the

Technical Escort Unit

annual training thereafter This train-

and

terrorist attack involving anthrax

and about $20,000 worth of

unit,

If

federal

and

local agencies are

ing

unable to prevent a C/B attack from

end up

at the

is

important because

members must stay current on improvised weapon designs,


as well as know how to use new

happening, requests for military help


will

regimen

the team

Army's Technical

Escort Unit (TEU).This one-of-a-kind

equipment. Examples of the

team stands ready to be sent worldwide on short notice to detect, con-

include state-of-the-art fluorescence

tain, limit

techniques that can identify biologi-

the damage from, and clean

up after an attack has occurred.

latter

cal agents,

and instruments created

by Los Alamos scientists that can

It is

also equipped to neutralize and dis-

identify

pose of toxic chemicals, munitions,

chemical device without opening

and

The team
works with the

other hazardous

fact,

it

was the TEU

warheads

In

that cleaned up

the hundreds of World


cal

materials.

War

unearthed

Washington, D.C., suburb

in

chemi-

1991.

The TEU is headquartered


Aberdeen Proving Grounds

Dugway
The unit is

Proving

Ground

(Utah).

comprised of 150 personnel: 19

offi-

cers,

63 enlisted and 68 civilians.They

have

all

attended an intensive course

to identify chemical agents,

how

how

to dispose of chemical agents.


also receive training

safety, as well as in first aid

national
logical

States does not currently have a

team to respond to chemical and

acts

government

officials,

biological Vi'eapon

radiation

and med-

him to

steal

it

in

and

it

should,

It is

far eas-

to concoct a chemical or
in

Crocker-like

then release

bio-

Aum

and other agen-

TEU

helped

munitions

GulfWar, and
1994 during

its

it

assist-

investi-

his

basement

"how/-to"

subway

Shinrikyo sarin gas attack

The TEU

is

on-call

24 hours a

two
response capabilities. The

day.

It

maintains

separate
first

manuals

station than

the

and

it is

Chemical/Biological Response Team,

which consists of 10

for

serve as the

"first

specialists that

responders" of

workable bomb. The United States needs to

C/B

do something about

within four hours. The second

and now. We're run-

ning out of time, SFTomajczyk

is

follow/ing

uranium and build a sophisticated,

this,

in

Tokyo.

of terrorism. That fact frightens

ier for a terrorist

Betty

They

in

it.

gation of a possible U.S. link to the

The United

to

use decontamination equipment, and

in

ed the FBI

in

Arsenal (Arkansas) and

FBI

chemical

Iraq's

after the 1991


at

Maryland, with detachments at Pine


Bluff

destroy

of any

regularly trains and

For example, the

cies.

in

composition

the

incidents. They can

Alert Team, which

be airborne

serves

is

as

the

the

95

The "Fox"

NBC

a six-wheeled, amphibious

IS

In

the event of a nuclear or C/B terrorist attack,

contamination.

In

the event of a chemical or biological attack,

accurate.

The Fox

over-pressurized to protect

is

advance team for any follow-on

TEU

its

crew.

It

it

in

could be deployed to test the

of the incident

TEU

can muster

off hours)

and can be

event of an emergency, the

and

mph

soil

to determine the extent of

and has a range of about 500

were declared "dead" by


nize they

were

referees after

EMTs

more

timely and

miles. U.S.

failing

Army

to recog-

a contaminated zone.

in

Treatment of patients begins

the agents present, renders any explosive

30 minutes (one hour during

air

can identify the agent thereby making medical treatment

devices safe, and assists with small area decontamination. In the

it

can travel at up to 65

response team(s).

The Alert Team conducts reconnaissance


site, identifies

Army and

(nuclear, biological, chemical) reconnaissance vehicle currently in use with the U.S.

Marine Corps.

giving victims of

at the scene, with

nerve agent poisoning shots of

Atropine and Pralidoxime chloride, antidotes forTabun

and

Sarin.

Before patients can be taken to a hospital,

they are decontaminated so that they don't pose a

airborne within four hours.

threat to the waiting nurses and doctors. This entails

&

Caring for the Slimed


Let's face

it:

Dying

removing

know

By the time you

that terrorists

have launched a chemical or biological attack,

it'll

be too

Most nerve gases are colorless and odorless, and


the "bugs" of germ warfare are invisible. So when a terlate.

rorist attack occurs,

of casualties?
In

EMTs

who

site

as they

will

become

New York

dent

in

at a

subway

City

station.

in

casualties themselves. This

April

I,

1995, training

inci-

which nerve gas was released

More

than

100

first

responders

Army

has a Chemical

the event of a biological attack, hospitals would


it.

was pointed out during an

DS2

chemical casualty care training.


In

before taking care of the injured,

in

Casualty Site Team that can be deployed to provide on-

emergency rooms

first,

them

accomplished by trained

tective gear. In large disasters, the

have to be alert enough to put on their pro-

equipment

is

first-responders and military personnel wearing pro-

take the brunt of

otherwise they

96

take care of the thousands

will

question.

their clothing and scrubbing

the event of a chemical attack, firefighters and


will

tective

Good

all

or a bleach solution. Decon

Patients are going to run to local

become

ill,

not knowing that

they have been exposed to a germ warfare agent


Fortunately,

most

diseases are reportable to state health

departments which,

in

turn, share their data with the

Centers for Disease Control

When

&

Prevention

in

Atlanta.

they see the appearance of an unusual disease

anthrax) or a sudden and marked increase

(e.g.,

common
go

tles

disease

off.

(e.g.,

in

So-called "disease detectives" immediately

begin their investigation to figure out

what

going on

is

and try to stop any further spread of the disease.

may

disease

surface

(e.g.,

ebola). In these cases, the

has an Aeromedical Isolation

Team

(AIT) that

can be deployed. Comprised of physicians, nurses,


medical assistants, and

technicians, the

lab

trained to care for and transport people

AIT

who

is

are

will

be trained to

public health

Metro

Strike

Washington,

Teams" that

management and

major metropolitan areas around

at

will

be able to respond within 30 to 90

Team

of 30

DC. It and

members

other teams

will

will

be based

in

be comprised of

team commander, a medical direaon physicians, pre-hos-

is

ill

pital

care providers, and logisticians.To ensure that an

two people

where they can be treated without


disease spread to others. The

Strike

minutes with their equipment and medical supplies. The


first

units called Vickers isolators to transport patients to


lab,

"Metro

the medical

consequences of C/B incidents.These teams,

the United States,

is

quarantine

assist in

be based

will

with an infectious agent. They use special isolation

problem, the U.S. Public Health Service

this

trying to create 18 so-called

which

Occasionally, a very deadly and highly contagious

Army

To address

salmonellosis), the bells and whis-

always available for deployment, each position


assigned to

it

means there

This

will

will

MST
have

be an

aggregate roster of 60 team members.

of having the

fear

Vickers isolators resemble Plexiglas torpedo tubes.

The patient lies inside and the entire unit is carried


by AIT members. The tube is under constant negative

Sending

the Marines

in

Supplementing the Metro Strike Teams' efforts


the military arena

is

the

in

350-member Marine Corps

pressure so that the organism can't escape into the

Chemical/Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF),

surrounding environment.

which

The AIT

can be deployed worldwide on

2-hours

headquartered

is

The

Carolina.

unit

was

the team can

the United States'

ability

transport only two patients at any given time, due to the

attacks, such as the

one

At

notice using Air Force aircraft.

limited

number

of trained personnel and available equip-

ment. However, the quarantine


taken can accommodate
Level

3,

this time,

lab

where

patients are

6 patients at Biocontainment

and four at Biocontainment Level

Noah's ark,AIT

will

move people two-by-two

4.

So

like

Metro Strike Teams


In

some

one of the United

States'

medical assistance from

60 volunteer Disaster

Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT), which are locat-

ed

at key cities around the nation

Diego, Seattle).

Of

these, 21

are

(e.g.,

Boston, San

Level

teams,

meaning they can mobilize within six hours with


supplies and equipment for 72 hours of operation.

However,

DMAT

is

not equipped with chemical war-

fare protective gear.

contaminated area.

Department
threats,

Hence, they cannot enter

North

Lejeune,

1995 to improve

to respond to C/B terrorist

involving the

facilities

Tokyo subway

around the world. They

decontaminate areas, treat

sys-

casualties,

identify

and bol-

ster local hospitals' treatment capabilities.

can request assistance from the

Civilian authorities

CBIRF for

incidents occurring at

al political

arenas.

efforts at the

either a chemical or biological attack, local

hospitals can expect

in

tem. CBIRF responds to incidents at Navy and State

to the lab

using their high-tech cocoons.

Camp

at

established

new

In

Olympic events or nation-

was part of the

fact the unit

996 Olympics. At

piece of equipment

this event,

known

as the

device, which looks like a pair of sunglasses,

a medical officer's gas mask.


glasses sends images of

Humvee.

Medicam.This
is

worn

outside

A small camera fastened to the

what the

back to a medical person

security

the unit tested

on-site doCTor

sitting in a specially

is

seeing

equipped

A microphone and headset allow the two to con-

verse, and a small screen inside the glasses permits the onsite

doCTor to see

patient.

By using

who

satellite

he

is

talking to as

cussion can be broadcast worldwide, letting


assist in

he treats a

technology, the piCTure and dis-

C/B experts

the diagnosis and treatment of victims.

97

98

CHAPTER SEVEN

Counterterrorism

Weapons and Equipment


down

"Counterterrorism forces have to be properly equipped to take

before they can cut hostages' throats or detonate a bomb. Going


laughable .22 or .38 will simply not
evil

do the

trick, regardless

in

terrorists

The

how

of

most

today,

eagles pack either

you may look."Anonymous

9-mm

(for high capacity)

knockdown power) handguns.


Hostage Rescue Team uses a highly mod-

or .45/.357 caliber

with a

FBI's

(for

semi-automatic, single-action .45

ified,

ACP

that

is

cus-

Counterterrorism experts learned an important lesson

tom-built by Les Baer on a Para-Ordnance frame. The

when GSG-9 assaulted a Lufthansa 737 at


Mogadishu Airport. The commandos forced entry

9-inch-long

ambidextrous

through the plane's emergency exit doors and began

mer, half-cock

1977

in

down terrorists. In the cockpit, terrorist leader


Mahmud took several hits from the point man who was

taking

using

.38

his

Mahmud was

S&W
still

Model

36. Although wounded,

able to fight back.

He

tossed two

grenades at the commandos, which fortunately rolled

under the seats before detonating. Becoming desper-

man grabbed an MPS submachine gun and


hosed Mahmud down with a quick burst.

ate, the point

What

this incident

they needed

shot revolver offered.


a

weapon

taught

CT

units was,

a larger magazine capacity than

that

first,

what

And second, they needed

was capable of "one

shot,

one

that

a six-

to use

kill."

So,

safety,
1

weapon
safety.

features

Commander-style exposed ham-

hammer

notch, a high-ride beavertail grip

and a double-column magazine that holds 12 to

rounds of Federal's powerful 230-grain Hyda-Shok

hollow-point bullets.
also quite accurate:

It's

It

terrorist think

about surrendering. The vi/eapon plays multiple

roles in counterterrorism,

gas

into

make even a dedicated

from breaching doors to

building. This

photo shows

Remington 870 defensive shotgun that


enforcement agencies. Robert

A.

Barrkman

is

inserting tear

Robar-modified

widely used by law

weapon

that

is

groupings no larger than 2

As mentioned

earlier,

the U.S. Marshals Special

Operations Group uses the Smith

& Wesson

.45

and

.357 handguns. Like the FBI, they, too, prefer Hydra-

Shok

bullets,

Among
Model 92F

but with a 185-grain load instead.


the

pistol

pistol holds 15

military's
is

elite

units,

the

Beretta

widely used. The semi-automatic

rounds of

9-mm

Parabellum ammuni-

SEALs abandoned the 92F

rienced problems with


shotgun's drop-dead reputation can

an impressive

fires

inches at 25 yards.

tion. The

The

frame-mounted

it,

the

after they

expe-

most notable being

astrophic slide failure. (A popular saying heard

in

cat-

the

NAVSPECWAR

community was "You ain't a SEAL 'til


you've eaten Italian steel.") They turned, instead, to
using Sig Sauers, Heckler

Colt MI9I

Is.

They

&

Kochs, and even the old

also reportedly use a so-called

99

The

.45

ACP

custom

built

by Les Baer for exclusive use by the

Hostage Rescue Team. Standard

FBI's

Hydra-Shok hollow-point

bullet

ammo

from Federal.

is

U.S.

230-grain

Federal Bureou

The new
Koch.

on the

kid

block: the

use with the

in

IS

It

Command.

Operations

detachable suppressor

of Investigation

silence

tile

This

&

Ruger

as a

pistol

is

USP

is

U.S.
fitted

instances

Special

with

where

Koch USA

dog has to be dealt with

caliber

from Heckler &

of the

for those

ideal

truly golden. Heckler

is

ACP

.45
units

particular

is

It

USP

elite

suppressed .22

quietly, a

used.

It is

jokingly referred to

"Hush Puppy."
Today,

issues the

the

reduction system,

.45

Command

Operations

Special

U.S.

H&K USP

ACR It features

a special recoil

2-round metal magazine, an over-

sized trigger guard for use with gloves, and

it

has a

modamong Delta
Force operators, are said to be the Special Ops .45 ACP
custom-built by Wilson, and the 9-mm H&K USP9 with
detachable sound suppressor and a laser aiming
ule.

Other

U.J.

Smith

idibiidis

& Wesson

Group

Service Special Operations

.45

and .357 handguns, with

uses the

85-grain Hydra-

Marines'

as a

back up;

Sigs

combat

are using a

pistol. This stainless steel

sidearm features rubber-coated


safety, high-profile

brand

FAST and MEU(SOC)

modified MI9I lAI .45 caliber

Shok ammo. Operators, however are permited to carry another


pistol

handguns, at least

5-round polymer magazine.

The
The

favorite

sights,

grips,

an ambidextrous

and an extra-wide grip

and Clocks are popular SFTomojczyk


safety for increased controllability (which aids

follow-up second

"sub aqua" version of the Clock handgun, which


designed to be fired underwater. The

mer frame
plus when

carrying out a

100

a definite

mission near magnetic

where

armorers

a terrorist

or hos-

at the Rifle Team

Clock

mm,

7 are popular

In fact,

lO-round capacity)

Service, and

DEA

is

is

Sig

in

a fast

hand-built

Equipment shop

For backup handguns, the

pistol's poly-

has a low magnetic signature

mines. And, for situations

is

Each pistol

shot).

in

by

Quantico.

Sauer P228 and

the compact Sig P228 (9-

used by the FBI.ATF Secret

for special duty and

concealment

Its

larger brother, the

P226

is

the primary handgun of the

SAS, FBI (excluding the HRT), and Navy SEALs. The

P226 has

mm

15-round detachable box magazine for 9-

Parabellum ammunition; 12 rounds for .357 SIG.

Many operators enjoy

the Giock

which

fea-

tures a tough polymer frame. When this handgun

first

appeared, people laughed at


that Mattel

design, saying

plastic

its

7,

must have subcontracted the

job. Unlike

other pistols on the market that are double-action/single-action, there

the

is

no difference

in

trigger pull

between

and subsequent shots. This consistency

first

aids in

operated by pressing a switch custom


tol grip). The

MP5N

fitted

(it is

to the pis-

takes 30-round magazines.

The FBI HRT has opted for the more powerful


lO-mm MPS/ 10 SMG that features semi-automatic,
two-round burst and

fully

automatic

any range, the projectile fired from

firing

this

modes. At

weapon

has

nearly twice the muzzle energy of a comparable 9-

mm,

S&W

.40

or .45

ACP

operation of the MP5/I0

cartridge.
identical

is

Although the
to the

9-mm

MPSs, several improvements have been incorporated


into the

accurate shooting.

can be affixed to the forward handguard

flashlight

a bolt catch device

weapon's design, including

that holds the bolt group rearward after the magazine

Submachine Guns (SMG)


SMGs
With

squeeze of the

is

are the workhorse of counterterrorism.


finger, a terrorist

vinced to stop what he's doing

machine gun's compact

can be con-

permanentlyThe sub-

size, large

magazine capacity,

and impressive firepower (not to mention

all

the good-

SMG, like a flashlight or


made it beloved by assault

can be affixed to an

ies that

laser aiming device) have

empty. This alerts the operator to the fact that a

new magazine needs


want to happen
a

tango, pull

"CLICK"

of an

is

the

to be loaded. (The last thing you

have an eagle point the

empty

gy" sound suppressor

MPS/

0.

gun.)
fits

unique "wet technolo-

By adding 5 cc of water to

suppressor, the SMG's report

is

3 to S decibels. This suppressor can also

al

of water without damage, making

USMS

and GIGN. Even the

Group

mm
racy

has

Colt

in its

in

arsenal to

it

be fired

ideal for

full

maritime

operations.

GSG-

Operations

complement the

9-

they normally use. The weapon's accu-

what makes

is

required
sive

MP5s

SMGs

Special

this stainless steel

lowered an addition-

The undeniable champion of submachine guns is


Heckler & Koch.The H&K MPS series of SMGs is the
chosen weapon of most of the world's elite counterterrorist forces, including Delta Force, Navy SEALs, FBI
HRT, Secret Service Counter-Assault Team, SAS,

at

the threaded barrel of the

teams around the world.

9,

weapon

and hear the distinctive

trigger,

it

ideal for

the precision shooting

a hostage rescue operation,

firepower (800 to 900 rpm) lends

and
itself

its

impres-

to quickly

a room, which is why the MPS (most notably


MPSK) is referred to as a "room broom."
The Navy SEALs and Marine Corps FAST units

sweeping
the

currently use the

9-mm MP5N

with a "Navy" trigger

group, which features semi-automatic or


ic firing

modes.

It

has a

maximum

fully

automat-

effective range of

00

meters and shoots 800 rpm. With the retractable butt


stock collapsed, the
barrel

is

MP5N

is

threaded to accept

only 19.3 inches long.The

sound suppressor

mini

The impressive and

hard-hitting

lO-mm MPS/ 10 submachine gun

currently used by the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team.

The weapon

features a 2-round burst trigger group and has a cyclic firing rate

of 800 rpm. The lightweight and corrosion resistant synthetic

magazine holds 30 rounds. Heckler

& Koch USA

101

When

concealment

was designed

necessary, elite forces turn

is

9-mm MP5K submachine

to the connpact

specifically for

CT

units.

MP5K

mate close-quarters weapon, the


about 4 pounds and

weapon

is

less

than

gun, which

Perhaps the

ulti-

weighs only

3 inches long.

The

has a distinctive vertical foregrip, features

or 30-round magazines, and can be configured to

two- or three-round bursts, or

single rounds,

matic.

Its

uses

be

it

when

easily

makes

small size

and security

it

which

details,

ideal for
is

why

5-

fire

auto-

full

covert operations

the Secret Service

protecting the President.The

concealed under a jacket or

partment of a can

in

weapon can
com-

the glove

can also be hidden and fired from

It

inside a specially built briefcase.

Many CT
its

-,

fo:

_,-. ::,=

:--.-iim

not require the use of subsonic


tion.

MP5SD

The MP5SD has

9-mm

SOG

U.S. Marshals Service

well as by

DEA

ammo

Think twice the next time you see someone with a briefcase!
could be hiding the compact

weapon's trigger
as

is

(a.k.a.
its

when

Room Broom)
small size

left).

is

a favorite

Ingram

MAC

The

Uzi

and

GIGN.The

is

102

air

10,

and

CT

9-mm

&

In fact,

the

MP5K

because

Koch USA

9-mm

Colt assault rifle/SMG.


Israeli

Secret Service also enjoys

during

units

units include the

popular with Navy SEALs,

and firepower
thin

among many CT

CT Teams,
it

small size

Uzis seemingly appeared out of


1981

assassination

SMG

used by the

is

primary weapon, as

go

after narco-terror-

task forces that

body and configuration of


rigid

telescoping

20- or 32-round magazines, and has a cyclic

It

The

Service uses this con-

and firepower (900 rpm). HecWer

Other SMGs used by


Uzi.

The Secret

protecting the President and otherVIPs.The

sound reduc-

800 rpm. STTU

but with a short and

rifle,

fires

firing rate

gun.

The

conveniently located on the briefcase handle,

the safety (button top

figuration

of

is

9-mm MP5K submachine

It

".o

one does

as their

ists.The Colt uses the basic

the M-16

Colt

;.e

^.r.

this

for effective

a cyclic firing rate of

President Reagan. The

butt.

submachine

sound suppressor Unlike many SMGs,

integral

attempt of

of 800 to

tiny

for the .45

Ingram

ACP

and

,000 rpm.

MAC

10,

9-mm

Parabellum,

high rate-of-fire. Firing at

zine

is

depleted

about

in

accuracy, however,

is

which can be chambered


is

known

for

1.6

another

seconds.
thing. Its

The weapon's
performance

beyond point-blank

is

so poor that many

"phone booth

In

other words, you have to be

gun."

the same booth as the target to guarantee a


of

this,

the

MAC

10

is

its

,090 rpm, a 30-round maga-

still

call

it

hit. In

the
in

spite

found with Navy SEALs.

Army Special Forces, and some federal agencies.


An unusual SMG is the 9-mm Spectre M-4 made
by SITES SpA in Italy Developed specifically for coun-

terterrorism units,

machine gun

the only "double-action" sub-

is

it

existence.

in

The M-4

is

designed to be

carried safely and brought into action instantly without


requiring any safeties to be released or any cocking

That makes

levers to be pulled.

Measuring

assaults.

CQB

ideal for

it

3.7 inches long with

its

and

stock col-

50-round magazines

lapsed, the Spectre fires 30- or

(another unique feature), and has a cyclic

firing rate

of

about 850 rpm.

Machine Guns
Machine guns are generally used only by national
counterterrorist teams

and the

weapon

FBI's

like

Delta Force, DevGroup,

Hostage Rescue Team.

It

is

an ideal

to go up against a paramilitary group that's hid-

compound and

ing in a fortified

is

equipped with heavy

CT

operations by

fire

against tangos

armaments. Machine guns support

volume of area

delivering a large

H&K

H&K

21,

These are

all

in

use with

mm,

half mile

or

so.

Machine Gun.

firing rate

of 500-

effective range

H&K

21

and M-60

1980 Iran rescue mission to secure

their escape route. The

SEALs presently use

down

M-60 when conducting

version of the

patrol missions.

ume
rifle

fire

can
In

out to

Before their mission was abort-

ed. Delta Force intended to use the

during the April

units include the

Light

have a cyclic

800 rpm, and generally have an


about a

CT

M-60E3

2 IE, and

7,62

It is

on targets

a stripped-

inland

used to deliver accurate, high-volat ranges

beyond what the M-

hit.

the

5.56-mm

as this

7.62-mm H&K 2

IE,

provide

CT

fire

against terrorists. Such

armed

heavily

weapons

category, several machine guns are

appropriate for counterterrorism operations, including


the H&K 23E and the M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon.
The 16.3-pound M-249 has an effective range of 2.600
to 3,250 feet and fires 750 rpm. The weapon is so light-

weight that a gunner can

fire

it

accurately from the

hip.

Shotguns
There are few weapons that capture
immediate respect more

a person's

quickly than a shotgun.

knock-down power of the shotgun

is

The

matched by

its

units

are ideal for assaults against

paramilitary groups holed up

pounds. HecWer

&

fortified

in

and/or destroy an entire


Point a shotgun at

weapon
SMGs, there
use

in

room

is

someone, and they

still

a time

in half

with a single round.

has been shunned by

this

com-

Koch USA

hyped reputation for being able to cut a person

from great distances.


Machine guns

Machine guns, such

with tremendous firepower by delivenng a large volume of area

freeze.

some

in

Although
favor of

and place for the shotgun's

counterterrorism. For example, the shotgun

ideal for

breaching locked doors

Lock round), projecting tear gas

(rifled slug

is

or Shok-

(ferret round), dis-

tracting terrorists (starflash rounds), concealing opera-

tions
flare

(smoke rounds),

injuring

or

shotgun

is

killing

an area

Some

them (rubber

also ideal for laying

shooter can
ing

signaling (14,000

candlepower

rounds), and disabling people without seriously

fire five

in

rounds

projectile rounds). The

down firepower:A

in

about

skilled

second, blanket-

a lead cloud.

of the favorite

shotguns used for

CT

2-gauge, semi-automatic

operations include the

H&K

Mossberg 500. Ithaca 37, H&K


Benelli M-I2I, Remington 870, Franchi Model 12
SPAS, and the Robar customized 870. These weapons
can have telescopic sights added to them to improve

MI/M3 Super

90,

their long-range accuracy (up to 100 yards), and they

can use magazine extension tubes to increase their

firepower capability up to

a total of

8 to 12 rounds.

103

The

FBI uses a customized

Remington 870 with

a 3-

inch chamber, a 14-inch barrel with a modified choke,


a

composite stock,

Trijicon front sites,

and several

other features. The Secret Service also uses a cus-

tomized Remington 870.

When

concealment

sawed-off shotgun.

needed, eagles use the

is

short length allows

It's

it

to be hid-

den under a topcoat, as well as to be used

in

tight

spaces, such as aboard ships. Unfortunately, there are

drawbacks to using

several

sawed-off shotgun.

has reduced accuracy. Second,


zine capacity. Third,

And

flash.

last,

if

his

hand

it

has greater recoil and muzzle

it

the shotgun does not have a hand stop

near the front grip or

blow

First,

has a reduced maga-

it

off

he's

if

pump
not

handle, the shooter can

careful.

One

snoi,

one

rorist incidents

Kiii.Tne sniper pia/s a vital roie

Assault Rifles
assault

SR-90
has been largely replaced by the

rifle

SMG, simply because

of the

desired

counterterrorism.
pass

likely

However,
assault

If

a rifle

through

building

and
a

is

its

area

large

target,

hit

it

in

someone.

when

giving a

CT

extracting

hostages from a terrorist occupied structure. Assault


rifles

are also ideal for perimeter security and counter-

ambush operations. Furthermore, they


to cover large

open areas

like

lend themselves

airports, maritime ports,

and stadiums.
Assault

mm)
mm)
rifles

53,

rifles

come

in

two

A/M-

(5.56

4,

mm)

and the

rifles

include

these assault

rifles

about 330 yards,

14.

fire

its

one

The

topped with

Ox Leopold scope. STfU

who

bullpup design.

kill.

hundreds of yards away with

snipers,

a single bullet.To

this kind of accuracy, snipers rely

that

rifle

motto of

That's the

is

on

achieve

a high-precision

designed specifically for sniping. The most

popular caliber

NATO/.308

rifle

used for sniping

Winchester

Winchester Magnum

Most sniper

rifles

the

7.62-mm

the

.300

often preferred for longer

is

range operations due to

is

(although

its

greater velocity and ener-

are customized to ensure their

make

accuracy. For example, care

that the barrel's internal dimensions are uniform, that

the

rifling

twist

that
rifles

certain

is

free-floating,

cleanly. Additionally,

and

these

are equipped with sturdy bipods to create a

Most of

Leupold Ultra

5-,

taken to

maximized for the intended caliber

the trigger breaks

non-vibrating

600 to 1,000 rpm, and have

is

is

and bullet weight, that the barrel

AUG

have an effective range out to

20- and 30-round box magazines.

one

shot,

take pride at being able to drop a tango from

(7.62

FA MAS, Colt

the futuristic-looking Steyr

(Army Universal Gun) with

is

forces.

(7.62

H&K G3 series. Light assault


the H&K 93, H&K 33, H&K

M-I6AI/A2, Ruger Mini

Commando, and

104

calibers: .308

used by counterterrorism teams include the FN1

CT

Winchester or .300 Winchester

.308

in

rifle is

used by

Rifles

One

gy).

and .223 (5.56 mm). Heavy assault

FAL, M-

Sniper

will

time and place for

For example, they are useful

domination over

unit

round misses

the shotgun, there

like

rifles.

the

available

rifles

is

the typical close-quarters environment of

in

IS

Magnum, This

ter-

long range and exces-

rifle's

penetration. Neither of these characteristics

sive

remea/ing

with a single bullet to the brain or heart. The Robar SR-90


of several state-of-the-art sniper

The

in

by dropping a terrorist hundreds of yards away

platform,

M3 Ox
I

powerful

scopes

(e.g.,

sniper scope, Hensoldt 10x40

telescopic sight), and adjustable butt stocks, cheek


pads, and trigger shoes that can be adapted to
individual sniper firing the

weapon.

fit

the

Sniper

rifles

come

ing,

or semi-

as either bolt action

automatic. The bolt action

shoot-

ideal for precision

is

with the semi-automatic serving as backup

where

port. In counterterrorism, however,

(with a 5- or 20-round magazine)

rifle

vehicles,

usually

caliber

CT forces

include

action)

CT

rifle.

elite

comprise

M-24, M-40AI, FR-F2,Vaime Mk-2, McMillan M-86SR,

including

PSG-

and

H&K MSG90.The M-40A

Corps designed weapon


is

on

built

used as the foundation of the

rifles.

yards.

is

Remington 700 that

SWAT/HRT

FBI's

sniper

rifle

shoots groups of a quarter inch

The Secret Service

builds

at

200

rifles

though

and Robar SR-90 stocks, using the Vari-X

III

Tactical 3.5-

power sniper scope from Leupold. The scope's low


power settings are useful in urban situations where
10

wide field-of-view

is

SWAT

in

wide use

teams and domestic security

agencies.

The Secret
edly uses

Service's Counter-Sniper

theVaime Mk2 7.62-mm

teams. Unlike other sniper

rifle,

as

Team

counterterrorist units. When


1

NATO

round, the

firing a

weapon. The
zine,

rifle fires

and has an

rifle

in

also

use

as a

almost no

is

in its

FBI's

Hostage Rescue Team has the

arsenal for special applications.

.50

caliber

rifle

is

no

double

carefully designed

picnic,
baffle,

even

muzzle

brake system absorbs most of the recoil so that


reportedly

feels

like

firing

12-gauge

However, one former Marine sniper who

including

when asked about

SEAL

snipers

it

shotgun.

now

laughed

the weapon's supposedly less-

than-awesome kick. "Bullshit," he said adamantly.


"Spend a day shooting this baby and you'll feel like
you've been

in a

car wreck."

recoil

suppressed .22

about 200 meters.

the

McMillan

M-86SR

Leupold Ml

Ultra

Ox

&

Koch's PSG-

and MSG90, along

other state-of-the-art weapon systems. The

MSG90

the Gulf

in

being reported at 1,093

kills

both the .308 and .300 Winchester

Magnum, equipped with

with

semi-automatic

for

rifle

scope. They and Delta Force are also reportedly


using Heckler

0-round detachable box maga-

effective range of

Navy SEALS
sniper

30-pound M-82A

from Barrett also saw action

subsonic 7.62-mm

Mk2 produces

and makes about as much noise

units that

Command,

Mk2 was

the Vaime

rifles,

report-

(single shot, bolt

do some SEAL

designed from the outset as a silenced sniper

X 5

rifle

trains elite units

often needed.

Both the Robar SR-60 and SR-90 are


with numerous

5-foot-long,

Firing

FBI also builds sniper

rifles

Operations

Special

U.S.

2,400 meters.The

the Remington 700, as well.

The

sniper

meters and an armored personnel carrier being disabled


at

on the McMillan A2

rifles

cal.

War, with anti-personnel

M-82AI

sniper

tangos at

snipers have turned to the powerful .50

the

.50 caliber

from

its

and

Navy SEALs and the Army's Delta Force.

The

Marine

topped with either a Leupold or Unertl

is

It

scope. The

killing

were deployed to the Gulf for use by

the Robar SR-60, Robar SR-90, Remington 700, M-21,

H&K

barrel,

its

1.

During the 1991 Gulf War, more than 200

McMillan M-88 .50

among

rifles

than the PSG-

long ranges or disabling equipment such as aircraft and

is

the preferred choice.

Popular sniper

less

Since sniping occasionally requires

sup-

fire

rapid fol-

low-up shots are often necessary, the semi-automatic


sniper

has a harmonic stabilizer at the end of

weighs 3 pounds

similar to the

PSG-

except that

it

has a

shorter barrel, features a more streamlined design,

When

you

really

one, nothing
this Barrett

out

aircraft

(e.g.,

have to reach out and seriously touch some-

comes

close to the .50 caliber sniper

M-82AI.The powerful
and

.50

cal. is ideal

vehicles, as well as terrorists at

rifle,

such as

for knocking

very long ranges

mile or further). Borrett Firearms Mfg.

105

Special

Weapons & Equipment

Baton rounds represent a

hostages

less-than-lethal Vi/ay to con-

requires not only highly trained and dedicated people,

vince terrorists to surren-

Assaulting

and

terrorists

rescuing

but also special equipment. For instance, flash-bang

grenades

flashcrashes) are used to temporarily

(a.k.a.

deafen, blind, and

der The round


five

react.

a terrorist so that an

room

SAS, typically produce a sound

and a

nating.

on the

It's

before he can

level of

of 2.4 million candela

light level

175 deci-

when

deto-

mind-blowing experience for the terrorists

Gas, such as

CS and CN,

is

also useful

in

distract-

Counterterrorist units use either 37/38-

gas guns or

12-gauge shotguns to launch ferret

rounds

filled

rorists.

Defense Technology of America has designed

with tear gas into a structure housing ter-

futuristic-looking

gas gun, the

37/38-mm L8

Multi-

Launcher, which can unload six rounds of tear gas from


Its

rotary magazine

in

three seconds.

If

you're an

cionado of Arnold Schwarzenegger, you saw


this

weapon

use

live

occasions, you simply don't want to

ammo.

ground nuclear
always wise.
rely

afi-

a replica of

the movie Terminator 2:Judgment Day.

in

On some

In

Firing

missile

an

SMG

silo,

circumstances

for

inside

an under-

example.

like

this,

Is

not

operators

on less-than-lethal technology. Such devices

are intended to put you out of action, but not necessarily

kill

you.

with

feet.

Examples

of

less-than-lethal

Wooden

baton

rounds are also available to

CT
if

forces, but they can

kill

directly fired at a person,

since the batons are heavier

and

foam

receiving end.

ing terrorists.

mm

enter a

Such grenades, which were developed by the

British

bels

safely

filled

an effective range of about

overwhelm

100

team can

assault

is

foam batons that have

less

flexible

rubber

Technology

than

Defense

of" Americo

nition can

be used on the

and
Assembly

unit's

forces use

weapons locker

BlackTalon.Hydra-Shok.and Glaser

you'll likely find

rounds.

CT

battlefield,

CT

whatever they wane Visit a

Of these, the

Glaser Safety Slug has an amazing

Delay
kill

Fuze
Block

tango

rate. Hit a

in

the arm,

90 percent of the time the

The Glaser

leg,

a hollow point bullet

is

or pinkie toe, and

shock

resulting

When

liquid Teflon.

Block

let disintegrates

a
Rubber
Grenade
Body

below the

surface, releasing the shot

cone-shaped paaern that destroys

Another "drop dead" round

It's

Powder

When

fired,

down anyone

its

like

a flying hole saw. This

grenades are not usually used by

CS

operators

if

this,

these

tear gas

ters shooting

hostages are

as the terrorists, because the hostages could

'seriously injured.

has

CT

Because of

nastier relative of the sting grenade exists:

mixed

in

with

the

rubber

balls.

it

Defense

Technology of America

gas mixed

with the rubber balls.This makes for a

in

drills

in

be

real

especially in

round

(.38, .357,

hollow bullet

mm), which has

bullet hits,

and leaves behind a

splotch of paint. This helps

telltale

confirm that a person has indeed been

grenade

use cover during

that

sonic apparatus emits certain frequencies that cause

headaches, nausea,
ing.

It

comes

in

irritation, sweating,

and even vomit-

various sizes, including a battery-sized

device that can be covertly placed inside a terrorist's


hideout. Within hours,

he'll

be too sick and distracted

strikes that

it

Unlike the military, which must abide by

kit,

Convention protocols that dictate what type of ammu-

open

and by which
has enough

their heads

fired

from

training.

down and

pistols, rifles

and

recoil. With a

the round can also be fired from shot-

guns. The bullets are tactically accurate up to about 25

which

feet,

is

ideal for

CQB

drills

that take place

in

shooting houses.
Simunition also manufactures a so-called "vanishing

the Greenshield round. Technically

ammo

bullet that disintegrates into dust

Geneva

hit

FX round

submachine guns, producing near-normal


conversion

shatters

adds realism to the

frangible bullet, Greenshield

Ammunition

it

firefights.

The FX round can be

bullet,"

to fight effectively.

it

Operators quickly learn to keep

interesting less-than-lethal

wave device

FX

the

with a water-soluble red or blue

filled

when

weapon is a sound
makes people become violently ill.The

is

a plastic, pre-scored

marking powder When the

sting

with active agent.

close-quar-

on Simunition products. The most popular

the red or blue team. The

filled

into a terrorist

deadly energy.

side,

An

its

means

the counterterrorism world relies

weapon that makes everyone in a room miserable when it detonates. Assault teams must be masked
before entering a room that has been painted by a sting
nasty

way

its

quickly, releasing

within 50 feet after det-

balls.

Law Grabber.
tip.

For training purposes


180 rubber

onation with their

the

toothed

and then expands


Sting grenades can bring

is

the bullet spins at 45,000 rpm, with

that the bullet rapidly "drills"

room

in

and bone.

flesh

a jacketed hollow point bullet that has a

toothed point acting

the same

in

target, the bul-

its

This causes instant incapacitation.

Flash

the bullet strikes

him.

kill

suspended

projectiles (# 2 chilled lead shot) that are


Delay

will

with 330 mini-

filled

ricochet or splashback.
.38,9

mm, and

5.56

The

mm.The

is

known

on impact, with no

lead-free bullets
FBI's

as a

copper-polymer

come

in

Hostage RescueTeam

107

One

secret of counterterronsm

about any type of

ammo

array of boattailed bullets

of a .50

cal.

drills.

(left

training

The hollow

to

it's

not the

right): Sierra

wear protective

rounds are

bullet shatters

get, releasing a bright red

68

weapon you use

grain,

Lapua

ideal for close-quarters

open when

or blue marking

face and throat gear

using Simunition. SF Tomajczyk

108

that

STTU

The Simunition FX
battle

is

that counts,

it's

the ammunition.

they want, from expanding hollow-points to Teflon and chilled-shot

when

striking a tar-

powder Operators
practicing assaults

85, Sierra

90, Sierra 220, ,50

filled
cal.

And CT

forces have access to just

Glaser rounds. This photo shows an

750

grain,

spent .50

cal.,

and

steel

core

ammunition to achieve certain

ized

when

shooting through an

dows, a non-jacketed round

tasks.

For instance,

aircraft's thick,

cockpit win-

used to prevent bullet

is

frag-

mentation and injury to nearby hostages. Armor-piercing

and frangible

doors.The

vehicles,

heavy equipment,

bullets are ideal for starting fires,

slugs are perfect for blasting

of specialized

availability

mind-boggling. You

And All

down

used to take

bullets are

and aircraft Incendiaiy

name

it,

ammo

open locked

CT

to

they've probably got

units

is

it

the Rest

Dressing up for a takedown

CT operator wears
Nomex

the mission:

is

an art unto

itself.Today's

30 to 50 pounds of gear depending on


balaclava

and gloves, Nomex

coveralls,

shin pads, assault boots, Kevlar ballistic helmet, Bolle tactical goggles,

load-bearing tactical vest (which holds

magazines, flashlight, radio gear and a


ster with pistol and

first aid kit),

ammo, throat microphones, flash-bang

grenades and thigh pouch, submachine gun with


chemical spray gas mask,

or

cuffs

flex

infrared),

cuffs,

ammo

thigh hol-

knife,

chemical

sling,

OC

90,000-volt stun gun, hand-

light

sticks

(visible

light

or

and Kevlar bulletproof vest with an optional

"chicken plate."

Most

tactical vests

are designed to handle

interchangeable sets of pouches and holders, so that the


vest can be customized for a particular mission.
In

Operators routinely wear 30 to 50 pounds of equipment when


conducting an

which

is

why they must be

condition. These operators are wearing

ical

gles,

kit,

guns

in

superb phys-

Nomex

tions.

hoods, gog-

flame-retardant overalls, bulletproof vests, and multi-pocket

tactical vests,

aid

assault,

mace,

in

which are
etc.

Note

typically filled with

that both

men

a cross-draw position. This

prefer to

wear their handguns, extra

grenade or two

in

thigh holsters.

is

ammo

magazines,

ammo

field include:

ing ram,

most operators

clips,

and a flashbang

SITU

in

various situa-

The more commonplace items sent out

first

are carrying their handunusual:

addition to this basic outfitting, counterterrorism

forces also use specialized equipment

jamb spreader, bolt

cutters), explosives (shaped

charge, C-4, detonator cord, ribbon cutting charge), mirrors, metal detectors, night vision goggles

grenades (smoke, stinger


ladders,

(Gen

style), ballistic shields,

sound suppressors, glass punches,

diving gear, binoculars, surveillance

The

in

metal walls of this

inch-thick rubber

mat

its

shooting house, The Maze.

facility

are covered with a

half-

that allows the bullet to pene-

trate before crumbling into dust.

Because of the unpredictable nature of counterterrorism,

CT

forces often have to resort to using special-

III),

fiber optic

communica-

equipment, sniper gear (drag bag, mat, spotting

scope, ghillie

more.

Gen

rappelling gear,

devices), chemical agent detectors, satellite

tions

II,

extendible

equipment (cameras,

microphones, borescopes, recording devices,


uses frangible bullets

into the

breaching equipment (hooligan tool, batter-

One

suit), laser

designators, lock picking guns, and

unique item

is

a small electronic device that

can open nearly every brand of garage door.

It is

used to

achieve covert, non-forcible entries.

109

no

CHAPTER EIGHT

Takedown!
Training and Tactics
"Any action taken

against terrorists

forceful,

must be

swift,

and aggressive."

Anonymous

Speed. Surprise. Violence of action. These three concepts are at the heart of counterterrorism. Every

team

elite

when assaulting
And do it in

strives to achieve these

terrorists. Hit

them

hard. Hit

them

fast.

such a way that the tangos are shocked and unable to

respond

effectively.

To acquire
ly

this capability,

CT

forces constant-

practice takedowns, doing various entry tactics

CQB

techniques. They practice in shooting


abandoned buildings, on trains, aboard
ships, and in planes. They do it during the day, in
the afternoon, and under the cover of darkness.
They do it in the deserts and in the mountains, as
well as in rural towns and in huge cities. And they
do It in all weather conditions: rain, fog, snow,

and

houses,

sleet,

in

and oppressive heat.

take

down

Note the use of the

with magnesium particles explode.

bang back

at

fires, To

As

drill.

is

commonplace,

two entry

ways,

men. to protect their

shields by the point

the blast wave and debris. STTU

are designed to temporarily blind and

deafen hostiles into submission. Here, two stun grenades

devices to start

house during a training

allowing the teams to simultaneously enter at different points.

men from
BLAM! Stun grenades

explosive breaching charges have been set at

It

is

not unusual for such

prevent a terrorist from throwing a

flash-

the assault team, the grenade usually has a very

short fuse, no longer than

,5

seconds. STTU

American

filled

their
ing

own

counterterrorist

complex

at

its

HRT

each
has

Quantico; Delta Force has

Operations Training center at


has

teams

training facilities:The FBI

training

complex

at

Ft.

Bragg;

Dam

its

its

have
train-

Special

DevGroup

Neck; and the

III

SOG

Marshal Services'
in

Louisiana.

has

its

40-acre Tactical Center

These complexes are

made up

typically

of firing ranges, indoor shooting houses, situation

rooms, rappelling towers, sniper ranges,

linear targets

mock urban town

centers, and

buses, planes),

(e.g.,

obstacle courses. They are hidden from the public so


that assault tactics cannot be witnessed, and so that

any sudden preparations a unit makes to deploy on a


mission do not

response

is

tip off

the terrorists that an organized

underway. By

rorism must be cloaked

very nature, counterter-

its

secrecy.

in

less publicized training facility,

which

is

home

two quasi counterterrorist units, is the James J.


Rowley Training Center in Beltsville, Maryland. The
two units in question are the Secret Service's
Counter Assault Team (CAT) and Counter Sniper
Team (CST).They are deployed with the President to
of

CT
cult

forces routinely train

to

quickly

Concepts,

Inc., is

elite units in

one of

low-light conditions,

in

identify

hostiles

from

it

is

diffi-

Combative

several private organizations that trains

low-light shooting tactics. Here, a

demonstrates one way to shoot and scoot


using the modified crossed wrist

a larger-than-normal

where

friendlies.

flashlight.

in

method with an

CCI

instructor

the dark. He's


assault

rifle

and

SFTomojczyk

protect him from assassination attempts.

which

draws

its

members from

The CST,

Uniformed

the

Branch, works with the President's advance team to

motor-

identify potential sniper hiding spots along a

cade route or

in

a particular area

or

building,

and

then keeps an eye on them to eliminate any sniper

may

that

CAT

appear.

is

responsible for thwarting

and reacting to armed assaults made against the


President.

They

fight

the assailants while the Secret

Service's close protection detail rushes the President

out of harm's way. This

unit,

which was created

after

the 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan,


routinely

sits in

room or

vehicle within seconds of

armed and decked-out in their assault


gear.The leader carries two radios: one that connects
the President,

him with the

tactical

team, and the other to talk with

the President's protection


All

each other's
No,

it's

not a Star Trek laser gun, though

belongs to the twenty-first century


that

is

widely used by

combat shooting
photo)

affixes

Tomojczyk

112

drills.

CT
The

to the tube

It's

it

does look

like

in

magazine (absent

in

(e.g.,

CT forces

cross-train at

well as at other

complexes

GSG-9, GIGN, SAS) and those

it

gun

forces to practice close-quarters


paintball

facilities, as

around the world

actually a paintball

detail.

of the United States'

the

front of the Red-dot sight. SF

that are privately

many
as

owned. With regard to the latter,


from such organizations

units receive training

Combative Concepts,

Training

Unit,

Thunder

Inc.,

Specialized

Ranch,

Tactical

Gunsite,

Thor

International, and the Mid-South Institute. These facil-

South

provided

has

DevGroup,

SOAR, and

60th

training

to

FBI HRT, Secret Service


a host of

other

Delta

CAT,

Force,

USMS SOG,

elite units including

the British SAS.

CT

Military

exercises

in

For example,

Campbell

forces often conduct joint training

major urban areas of the United


in

June

995, units from

reportedly

SOAR descended
sites to

conduct

Ft.

States.

Bragg and

Delta Force and the

Ft.

160th

on four Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,

a nighttime rescue operation using

night vision goggles.

Nine helicopters

OH-6A

(six

Cayuse and three MH-60 Black Hawks) flew over


Pittsburgh and inserted

to their objectives. The


sive
Live-fire

hostage rescue

to the real thing. Volunteers

and placed
ture,

to

rescue the hostage.

room engaging
If

it.

If

direction of his assault team.

bat shooting

aimed quick

i;

c.V!

^e:

tied

up

forces enter the struc-

terrorist targets,

and then

will

be shooting

in

charges to gain access to the buildings

in

explo-

which

the hostages and terrorists were housed. Although


the

drill

went smoothly,

who were

it

not aware that

going on. Several,

in fact,

attack. Similar drills have

alarmed many residents


a

was
was under

training exercise

thought the

city

been conducted elsewhere

the

STTU

training

in

advanced assault

entry methods, close-quarters com-

(e.g.,
kill,

CT

he does, he

commonly provide

tactics, high-risk

case, a

an assaulter bypasses a target, he cannot

turn around and engage

ities

(in this

inside a shooting house.

move room

C" jwoman) are

are the closes:

drills

commandos, who fast-roped

commandos then used

rapid

double

aimed

fire,

point shooting,

tap, multiple target indexing),

barricade takedowns, low-light shooting techniques,


explosive breaching, and sniping.

The
Shooting

Mid-South
is

of

Institute

Self-Defense

perhaps the best-known and most innov-

ative shooting school

in

the United States. Located at

Lake Cormorant, Mississippi, and founded by worldclass

shooter John

ranges and

One

Shaw, the

facility

features

two shooting houses on 40 acres

22

of land.

of the shooting houses (6,000 square feet) has

28 rooms that

2-, 4-

and 6-man assault teams can run

through, while shooting at moving hostile targets


with

live fire.

Mid-South also has

a military

approved for parachute operations,

drop zone

as well as an adja-

cent 2,500-foot runway that can be used for


borne-related tactics. Since

its

inception

in

air-

982, Mid-

Live-fire dnils are

an important way to keep one's shooting

honed. Here, an operator armed with a

H&K MP5SD

using effective cover (a truck trailer) to shoot at targets.

unusual for

rounds

members of some

elite

CT

skills

practices
It is

not

forces to shoot 2,500

week. SITU

113

around the country, including the Chicago suburbs of

Lemont and Homer

Simultaneously, sniper-observers teams are deployed


to contain the situation and begin collecting

Building

Takedowns

Counterterrorlst teams spend


ticing building assaults,

tions

involve

of time prac-

a lot

because most hostage

some

of

building

sort.

include Princess Gate (l980),Talladega

(1

situa-

Examples

99

1),

Waco

Montana Freeman 996), and the takeover of


the Japanese Embassy in Peru (1996). Social, political,
and religious terrorists are the most difficult to deal
with because of their commitment. When they barri(

993),

cade themselves inside

a building,

the probability of a

prolonged incident increases and the

becomes very

When

risk to

hostages

takeover occurs, an inner and

a building

outer perimeter quickly

is

relayed by radio to a tactical

is

identifying

ities,

other

marks of hostages and terrorists, and


Often, they photograph the ter-

vital factors.

rorists so that the assault

teams are able to quickly

and correctly identify them during the takedown.

To make certain that everyone receives the same


"picture" of

what

is

happening, the building

coded and numbered. For

is

color

instance, the sides of the

building are labeled by color

(e.g.,

black for the rear, green for the

white for the front,


left,

and red for the

and the windows are numbered from top to

right),

high.

intelli-

command centerThe snipers take note of the number of


terrorists, weapon types, booby traps, terrorist activ-

gence, which

bottom, floor-by-floor This way,

if

a sniper

reports

established around the

building by police. This creates a safety zone, as well


as

controls public and media access to the area.

Sniper-observer teams are


rorlst assault

terrorists, reporting their

mand center This


planning

ordered,

their
it

is

vital

to the success of any counterter-

Remaining well hidden, they maintain watch on the

vital

observations back to the tactical com-

information

is

used by the assault team

takedown choreography

the sniper

who

When

protects the assault

terrorists with a single shot to the brain or heart.

114

the

assault

in
is

team and drops


SFJomojCzyk

Plan, plan, plan. That's

the key to

all

takedowns. Team members

must know what they're up against and how they intend to

move

inside the structure.

fice for

planning an

often done on

ping
real

thing

hostage

Quick sketches, such

as this one, suf-

emergency assault but more


a portable

computer is

detailed

map-

preferred for the

Data from sniper-observers about terronst and

activities are

used to update the maps. STTU

tify

possible entry points.

Once the breaching areas


may be used to blow

are determined, explosives

open doors and/or create holes

in

the external walls.

keeping with the "Speed. Surprise. Violence of

In

Action" motto, assault teams nearly always use some


sort of distraction tactic to confuse the terrorists

before

just

the takedown. For example,

Initiating

flash-bang grenades can be tossed into

one area of

the building (away from the entry point),

wooden

baton rounds or tear gas canisters can be

fired at

windows on

certain levels, or a helicopter can buzz

the building to get terrorists to


area.
is

Sometimes, however,

CT

adequate enough:

during the

wee hours

move

just the

to a particular

cover of darkness

forces enjoy doing assaults

of the morning

when

terrorists

are groggy
Regardless, entry teams usually hit the building

two

places simultaneously.

at the highest level

downward,

(e.g.,

in

One team

typically starts

roof) and

works

clearing each floor of tangos as

way

its
it

goes.

This tactic assures that terrorists don't sneak up

behind them.
the building

the assault

If

is

often cut

is

off,

done

at night,

power to

mem-

so that the team

bers can wear night vision goggles. Using infrared


chemlights, they can clearly see

where they are going

and what they are doing, while the terrorists fumble

around

Whoa
this.

there, buddy. You definitely don't

An

explosive sheet

to blow

it

open

is

The

blast will likely

throw

cally

move

STTU

White 7-7" everyone knows

that a terrorist

has been sighted at the front of the building

seventh floor at the seventh

Such information

is

recorded

window from
at the tactical

center; over time, the terrorists' routine

To

is

on the

the

left.

command

established.

gain access to a building taken over by ter-

rorists, assault

teams

first

blueprints of the building.

one who

is

in

monly known
Train."

"Tango,

the dark, panicking. Again, this gives the

Since speed

being carefully applied to a steel door

for an assault team.

debris up to 50 feet away.

want to get too close to

in

team the upper hand

assault

get their hands on the

They

also talk with

intimate with the structure

some-

(e.g., sanitari-

an, architect) to discern the internal layout

and Iden-

move

stairwell.

member

the situation.

a straight line formation that

"Congo

Line,"

In

Is

It is

mem-

also dan-

constricted areas such as a hallway

A terrorist can

pop out and

kill

every team

with a machine gun burst. Because of

formation changes

com-

and "The

formation allows the team

this

quickly through a building.

gerous, especially

or

In

of the essence, assault teams typi-

as the "Snake,"

Although

bers to

is

It

this,

widens and spreads out

the

as

It

moves through open rooms. Also, the team members


make sure that they are as unpredictable as possible

when moving room

to

room

In

a building.

For example, they avoid being rhythmical

movements, they enter rooms

In

their

at different heights.

115

Hi there, mind

Whenever

if

we drop

in?

Rappelling

possible, assaults are

often the easiest and quicl<est

is

done by working from the top of the

and they change their approach direction so that the


terrorists aren't able to figure out

some rooms, two men

will

enter;

where they

In

are. In

others, four

And

Sometimes the men will


enter simultaneously using the buttonhook entry, or
one at a time using the crisscross or X entry tech-

means to reach

building

hallways

nique.

On

occasion, a

room needs

by a "high/low" combination,
kneels with his

SMG,

in

only to be cleared

which one operator

while the other stands directly

over him. Each man can quickly check

and

safely

shooting

half the

room

engage any terrorists without fear of

his

partner

(If

the kneeling

man

stands up

up and out of the way.)

Mouseholes are another way


predictability.

If

can blast small holes


ing

in

team to avoid

the internal walls of the build-

and move from room to room. This not only

shocks the terrorists,

116

for a

who

typically are guarding the

in

floor

some

areas of the building.

STTU

importantly,

means

it

that the

to,

not what

more men

assaults a

it

an entry team of four or

room, the

third

tional protective
ists

wants

man

in

the Snake often wears addi-

body armor This

can usually react and start

is

because terror-

firing their

the assault team by the time the third

weapons

man

hits

at

the

doorway. Hence the third man can only hope that


either the flash-bangs stun the terrorists long
for the

first

two team members

enough

to drop them, or that

the terrorists have terrible aim.

When
tine

Using shaped charges, the assault team

more

first

the building's layout dictates.

suddenly, his head safely pushes the standing man's

SMG

but,

the

team follows the path

assault

others, six or more.

still

terrorists hiding

down toward

clearing a

operators follow.

room, there
First,

is

a specific

they dominate the

rou-

room

by moving to positions that allow them to over-

whelm

the terrorists with interlocking fields-of-fire.

Second, they eliminate the threat as quickly as possible.

Third, they control the situation and secure

personnel with either handcuffs or plastic

all

tie-ties.

ua^^
Explosive caulk was used to cut a "mousehole"

door Mouseholes, which are often used

own

in

this

wooden

inside walls, allow an

in

assault

team to

relying

on hallways that might be booby trapped. Assault team

pick their

members wear goggles

path through a building instead of

to protect their eyes from the

debris that results from the

smoke and

door charge's detonation. SITU

Fourth, they search the dead to ensure that they are

dead and no longer pose

thump"

is

done to see

if

a threat.

Often an "eye

there

any deep pain

response

in

an

unconscious

search the

room

to determine

potential threats to the team.

is

person.
if

Fifth,

they

there are any other

And

last,

they evacu-

ate the hostages and prisoners.

The reason
Two CCI
clearing a

instructors demonstrate the high/low stack

room. The

pair will simultaneously pivot

method of

outward to

their right to clear the far corner directly to their left inside the

dooway As

they do

inside of the entire


they'll

so, their

room.

If

weapons

will

sweep across the

any terrorists are waiting

be quickly taken down. SFTomojCzyk

inside,

for handcuffing everyone

is

because

an assault team doesn't have the time to sort out

hostages from terrorists playing "sheep." That task


left

to follow-on teams.

mission

is

The

is

assault teams' primary

to swiftly eliminate the immediate threat

before hostages are

killed.

And

that typically entails a

"double-tap" to a terrorist's head.

117

key aspect of counterterrorism

Chokes and
killing

is

strangles are

not permitted.

breathing,

If

the choke

is

to dominate the situation.


hostiles

when

choke prevents the

assailant

from

whereas a strangle cuts

brain. In this photo, a

teer

is

two ways to subdue

choke hold

is

off the

blood flow to the

being practiced on a volun-

held 30 to 90 seconds, the person

Note the operator maintaining

unconscious.

weapon, so that

if it

is

no one

fired

will

go

of the

control

The easy way


at night to

team has to keep

assault
fuel,

Use

to assault an aircraft:

a luggage

conveyor

run up and open the main hatch. When doing


in

mind that the

plane's weight

luggage, and passengers can cause the door's height

above

attempt to open the

the ground to change. Often a team

will

hatch only to discover that they

the conveyor or ladder

blocking

it

shut.

can't;

al

at

remote areas of airports using sever-

different types of aircraft.They study the aircraft

The second most common takedov/n scenario


involves what is known as a linear target: buses,

airport operations so they can plan assaults based

planes, and trains (including subways).

an

ed space to move around

in

is

STTU

do takedowns

narrow and very

the

from

be hurt, SITU

will

Linear Assaults

targets are

belt

this,

All of

these

confining, offering limit-

and almost no protective

various contingencies. For example, they learn


aircraft's blind

and

on
where

spots are so they can approach the

without being seen. They learn the location of

craft

hatches and what warning

on the control panel

lights

cover for the assault team. (A terrorist, for example,

in

is

opened. And they

can shoot an operator at the rear of an airplane from

learn

where the "soft spots" on the

fuselage are locat-

the cockpit doorway.) These targets are also

ed,

case an explosive entry

to sneak up on, since passenger

windows

difficult

train has

two

to four

linear

emergency

assaults

two doors;

a bus.

two doors and perhaps

one. The average plane has


exits.

For

all

of these reasons,

are innately dangerous and

require

The United

118

States'

CT

forces practice assaulting

types of linear targets. With regard to

In

typical

sniper-observers

Those on the
Papa

3,"

left

lit

up

if

hatch

aircraft,

they

needed.

hijacking

terrorist

are

is

placed

of an

around

the

aircraft.
I,

and so on, while those positioned on the

right side are labeled "Sierra 2, Sierra 4,"

Each sniper-observer has

aircraft,

side are typically labeled "Papa

and so on.

specific portion

plane that they are responsible

special skills to accomplish successfully.

all

in

usually run

the length of the vehicle. Furthermore, they offer few


natural entry points.

the cockpit are

for.

of the

For instance. Papa

and Sierra 2 both watch the plane's cockpit area.

Papa 5 and Sierra 6 usually are assigned the wing

close look at a bus takedown. Several assault

where they can shoot

dows

team members

attack the doors while others use step ladders to get to

at terrorists. Linear targets, like this bus, are difficult

all

height

the win-

allow the terrorists (and sympathetic hostages) to see you coming. SITU

area. Papa 3

and Sierra 4 keep an eye on the space

between the wing and

cockpit. Each sniper-observer

relays information to the

command

post about what

As the
usually

where

assault team(s)

When

moves

into

a natural blind spot exists

the assault

used to surgically

is

in

in

snipers pro-

instances, snipers are used to disable

caliber

.50

M-82 .50 is

it

them to stun the

terrorists

they

the snipers are often

its

easy for passengers to be

manner, as

many terrorists as possible that are visible in windows and open doorways. They use non-jacketed bulso that nearby hostages are not injured by frag-

off.

such

In

these

as

the

As the operators storm the plane in several places


same time often tossing flash-bangs ahead of

at the

duckThe

a synchronized

rifle

ideal.

to

is

from taking

sniper

spotted.

case the team

initiated,

kill,

the

some
the

cases,

position

approaching from the rear of the aircraft

vide cover for them, just

In

the aircraft, to prevent

Barrett

the terrorists are doing.

lets,

window

to assault. There are few natural entry points and

ists

yell at

the passengers

quarters are so cramped inside a plane that

panic and spray their

plane;

many

some

cases, snipers will

hit

by bullets as the terror-

SMGs down

planes are only about

third of the aircraft to

fire

into the

encourage passengers

get down.This

and/or fuselage.

and also serves as diversionary

done

the length of the

5 feet wide inside.

be ordered to

mentation as the bullet passes through the window

is

(In

upper

inside to

at the very beginning of an assault,


fire.)

119

Yo, ho,

deck.

ho and

CT

a bottle of rum.

How 'bout some

lead instead?

Two

operators practice boarding a ship and taking

forces must be prepared to respond to terrorist incidents

If all

onds or

goes
so,

well, the assault

with the

last

is

in

over within 30 sec-

gunfight usually being held

in

the cockpit where the terrorist leader has barricad-

ed himself.

Yet,

notably

First,

num-

the huge size of a passenger ship

requires a large terrorist assault team to take control


of

the

vessel

and

then

guard

the

hundreds

logistics

in

the

first

place can be a difficult

problem. Second, once terrorists are aboard,

no easy way for them to escape if they


change their mind. They're surrounded not only by

there

is

water, but also by military and police forces.

And

is too large to defend against a determined assault done by counterterrorist forces.

third, a ship

120

DevGroup

States'

teams

elite

train for ship assaults.

and boats, and blueprints of the

ship exists
visit

on the

most
One

of

vessel's lay-

and often they

do

the

CT

If

a sister

team

will

insertion

technique and

Because of the lack of cover at

sea, assaults are

it

to

practice

their

assault tactic.

of

hostages that are taken. Getting that many terrorists

aboard the ship

United

the

out are acquired from the ship's owners.

Ship hijackings are relatively rare, and for a

ber of reasons.

terrorists

the first things done before doing a takedown is to


collect intelligence. The ship is shadowed by satellites,
aircraft,

Ship Takedowns

down

any environment, including the maritime arena. STfU

usually

done

under

the

cover

of

darkness.

Helicopters carrying sniper teams and assault teams

low above the ocean and approach from the

ship's

stern. Helicopters carrying the snipers arrive

first,

fly

positioning themselves on either

side of the ship at a

45- to 60-degree angle to the assault team that

ropes onto

fast-

the stern. This prevents sniper bullets

from ricocheting

into friendly forces. (Assault

team

members

also

wear

terrorists.)

The

do not mistake them for

snipers take out any hostiles while

providing intelligence data

booby

weapon

traps,

chem

either glint tape or infrared

sticks so that the snipers

(e.g.,

terrorist locations,

types, clear routes) via radio to

shaped corridors (one-man


dors

(two-man

(three

man

external

copters as part of a takedown. Instead, they rely on


craft

raiding

with

silenced

engines

to

quietly

approach the ship from astern and then climb


other instances, the assault team uses

aboard.

In

SCUBA

or mini-subs to stealthily approach

earlier chapter, this tactic

SEALs to resolve the


In

these

of

all

extendible

the

poles

how

the ship, once they

an

was considered by Navy

hit

assault

teams

use

and/or caving ladders

with hooks to climb the ship's


Regardless of

in

Achille Lauro hijacking in 1985.

cases,

painter's

a ship

As covered

either at night or during daylight.

hull.

the operators get aboard

the deck, they

"Train" formation, quickly clearing

move

in

rooms and cor-

ridors of terrorists and hostages as they head for

the

ship's

nique

in

bridge.

The two-man clearance techa room and

which two operators enter

and right staying 18 inches

split left

off the wall

is

assault), internal stairs

stairs

Once
heli-

assault),

(four

man

T-shaped corricorridors

cross-shaped
(one

assault),

man

assault),

and the

ship's

bridge (four- to six-man assault).

the assault team.

Sometimes, assault teams do not use

assault),

the assault of the ship's bridge

is

com-

pleted, follow-on forces land aboard the ship to


deal with the hostages and any

wounded

personnel.

Meanwhile, the bowels of the ship are cleared of

communications room, engicompartment, and steering room are

terrorists. The vessel's

neering

guarded after being cleared so that


straggler

is

not able to

somehow

a lone terrorist

circle

back and do

any damage. When the internal clearance

and

all

the detainees are accounted

for,

is

finished

the assault

team extracts.
The amount of time required to take down a
passenger ship depends on several things, including
the size of the ship, the number of terrorists aboard
the vessel, and the determination of the terrorists to
fight

the

CT forces. Regardless

of whether

minutes or 10 hours, the result

will likely

it

takes

always be

the same: the demise of the terrorists. The motto of

counterterrorism, "Speed. Surprise. Violence


action" ensures

of

it.

most commonly used by


small size of the

assault teams due to the


compartments. The operators run

about three-quarters of the way down the wall,


shooting any armed terrorists they encounter in
their sphere of influence. Prisoners are secured to

the ship; each

gear to

fully

operator

typically

carries

enough

secure six prisoners.

Large compartments, such as the mess hall and


crew lounge, are cleared by four men instead of just
two. While the four operators clear the room, the

breacher and point man continue

down

the passage-

way to the next room. Here, the point man maintains


security and the breacher prepares for entry.

the four assault team

room

is

members

When

catch up to them, the

breached. This fleet-footed choreography

continues room-to-room, deck-to-deck. The assault

formation

itself

changes as the team encounters

L-

CT

forces routinely secure hostages and prisoners with hand-

cuffs or, in this case, tie-ties.

Made of nylon-reinforced

plastic,

the

unbelievably strong tie-ties have to be cut off to be removed. SF

Jomojczyk

121

Where

Elite

CT Forces

Train in America
(Not Inclusive)

Trujning I'm

Coronado NAB
Combaiive Concepts

Inc

Thor Intemalional

Davis-Month an Ah"B

Training for Tomorrow


The United States is now

at an

important cross-

roads. Terrorism has stained

our

that stain growing larger

the future are quite good.

There

is

in

soil

and the chances of

among
among our own citizens.
now more willing then ever

an undercurrent of dissension not only

extremists overseas, but also

People want change and are

Figure 8-2

to resort to violence to force their ideas of change into


reality.

As long

as this continues,

highly trained, special elite

we

will

have a need for

teams to resolve

The

criss-cross entry pcnnits an assault [earn to

quickJy enter a

room from

shellered positions.

crises, in

extremis situations, and terrorist actions.


Fortunately, units like Delta Force and

stand

ready

to

emergencies

Hostage Rescue Team

is

abroad, and

DevGroup
the

FBI's

poised to resolve incidents here

HRT has begun to be more proactive in


The HRT and the FBI's Critical Incident
Response Group (CIRG) recendy established open

at

home.

its

In fact,

approach.

Figure H-3

The huttonhook entry allows iwo assault team members


to Mmultaneously enter a room providing, ol course, that

122

the

doorway

is

wide enough.

Papa

of negotiations. The potential for escalation of this situ-

Sierra 2

ation into a bloody war-like crisis involving other militias

sympathetic to McLaren was effectively defused.


This kind of communication/negotiation process
likely

to

become more

heavily used in the future.

law enforcement agencies are,


capabilities in this arena.

in fact,

is

Many

expanding their

However, when

talk

is

cheap

and the wackos of the world resort to body counts


and bombs,
ing that

we

can

America's

all

take a deep sigh of relief

elite

hand.These highly trained and


Papa

and

Sierra 8

'i

for

women

willingly

walk into

one reason:To save

know-

counterterrorist forces are at


specially
life

equipped men

and death situations

lives.

Figure 8-1
thai would typically be positioned
McDonnell Douglas DC-IO. three-engined transport.

Smper-observer learn locations


around

Firing positions can be

plane that
assault

is

team

moved

to teinforce a particular area of the

heavily usexl by terrorists or

be used by the

thl is to

to gain entry.

communication with many

and extremist groups

militias

throughout the country so they can lower tensions


before things get out of hand and result

in

bloodshed.

This tactic proved to be invaluable during the April

1997 standoff

in

Fort Davis, Texas,

Texas leader Richard McLaren and

in

which Republic of

his

followers refused

to surrender after a warrant had been served for

McLaren's arrest.
in

court

in

papers he

HRT

He was wanted

a dispute over

filed in

name

the

CIRG were

bogus

for failure to appear


liens

and other

illegal

of the Republic ofTexas.The

communication with key

militia

leaders around the United States throughout the

crisis,

and

relaying

messages

in

in

Figure 8-4

an attempt to defuse the situation

as well as reassuring the militias that the

HRT was

not

gearing up to respond. McLaren surrendered peacefully

to local law enforcement

officials after a

tense

fairly standard four-man entry. After the breachcr (B) forces open the door, the lead
"Snake" or "Train" crosses the room to opposite comer, taking control of most of the room.
The second man in buttonhooks through the door^^ay and heads for the comer. The third man follous
the leader; the last man in the stack, the second man. Room clearing can be done m as little as seven
seconds. The hoes represent sectors-of-fire for each operator. In small rooms, only two men are used

This figure shows a

week

man

in the

123

GLOSSARY
ARG: Accident Response Group,

DoE

volunteer

responds to nuclear accidents. See also

unit that

NEST.
ATA: Anti-Terrorist Assistance, a program operated
by the State Department to train foreign law
enforcement agencies in counterterrorism techniques. The U.S. Marshals Service

the tactical

training at

SOG

Tactical

its

in

CBDCOM:

Center.

Located

in

Washington, D.C., and operated by the Navy, the


center monitors terrorist activities worldwide
Bang: Slang for a flash-bang grenade.

Force, a Marine

Chicken

sives.

Black Talon:

weapons

inci-

Broken Arrow.

lethal,

ments into claw-like shards upon impact.


Blow and Go: Phrase used by CT units in reference
to dynamic entries: you blow the explosive
charges and immediately enter the building
through the breach or hole.

is

much more

a nuclear accident.

It

serious than a Bent Spear See also

Dull Sword.

BUD/S: Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training.


A 26-week basic training course at Coronado,

SEAL candidates must endure


order to be considered for the SEAL

California, that

and pass

in

all

teams.

CAM:

inside

unit.

the ceramic or steel disk

bulletproof vest.

positioned over the heart,

The
is

plate,

designed

to withstand hits from high-caliber bullets.

CIRG:

Response Group.

Critical Incident

A compo-

Team and

negotiators to

crises.

CR: Designation for


trate a gas mask

CN

a tear gas
filter

tear gas.

CR

agent that can pene-

that normally will stop


is

CS

used against terrorists

equipped with gas masks.

CST:

for a terrorist. See also Tango.

U.S. Secret Service's

Counter-Sniper Team.

CTC: Counterterrorism Center

Staffed and operat-

ed by the CIA, the center monitors the where-

abouts and actions of terrorists worldwide.

DevGroup: Development Group, the new name for


SEAL Team Six.
DoD: Department of Defense.
DoE: Department of Energy.
DoS: Department of State, a federal agency that
deals with terrorism involving Americans outside the continental United States.

Double

Tap:

Two aimed

shots fired

in

rapid succes-

sion at a terrorist to ensure that he does not

pose any further threat. See also Mozambique.

Chemical Agent Monitor,

chemical

warfare

soman.

is

It

downwind

agents,

typically set

device that detects

such

as

sarin

Canary; Slang for a hostage.

and

up along a perimeter,

of a potential gas release to

an attack.

124

is

Crow: Slang

hollow-point bullet that frag-

Broken Arrow: Codename for

fits

which

and
for a nuclear

Corps

Plate: Slang for

the Hostage Rescue

these three controlled items, as well as explo-

Codename

units

nent of the FBI that oversees the deployment of

BATE: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, a federal agency that controls the movement of

dent. See also

Defense

Biological

Army command whose

an

respond to chemical and biological incidents.


CBIRF: Chemical/Biological Incident Response

and sends out alerts of impending attacks.

Bent Spear:

&

Chemical

Command,

that

Anti-Terrorist Alert

Counter-Assault Team.

U.S. Secret Service's

C/B: Chemical/Biological.

provides

Center

Louisiana.

ATAC:

CAT:

warn of

Dry Hole: An empty room or


Dull Sword:

nuclear

Codename

structure.

for a situation

weapon malfunctions or

could result

in

is

in

which

damaged, and

detonation or radioactive conta-

mination. See also Bent Spear

Eagle: Slang for a

good guy

counterterrorism

(i.e.,

EOC: Emergency Operations Center


EPIC:

Paso Intelligence Center Operated by the

El

DEA, EPIC

movement
Numerous federal

tracks and interdicts the

of drugs, aliens, and weapons.

agencies participate at EPIC, including the FBI,

Secret Service, and

Customs

is

federal

responsible for terrorist incidents

that occur aboard U.S. aircraft.

Corps unit.
FBG: Flash-bang grenade. Also referred to

as "bangs"

mm)

finned plastic capsule (12 gauge, 37

that contains tear gas.

end that

front

is

The

scored;

ferret has a blunt

open on

bursts

it

impact, releasing the gas. Ferrets can penetrate


3/4-inch
Frags:

plywood barriers

at 100 feet.

Fragmentation grenades.

Frangible

Ammo: A

into dust

copper-polymer

when

it

bullet that turns

ammo

no
the shooter

strikes a target, resulting in

ricochet or fragments flying back at


Frangible

is

ways, furniture, etc. Glass house

used by

CT

units for

CQB

mock

a scale

unit.

HAHO:

on the ground. Parachutists jump


feet, deploy their chutes, and quietly drift to the predetermined landing site 25
to 50 miles away downwind from where they
hostile forces

out at 20,000+

initially

HALO;

jumped out of the

High Altitude,

insertion technique

plane.

Low Opening. A
in

time you spend floating


is

when you

are

HALO

down
most

in

minimizes the

your parachute,

from enemy

at risk

fire.

Among GIGN's

HRT; Hostage Rescue Team, an

res-

in

Djibouti by four terrorists

and the assault of an Air France


hijacked

by Algerian

February 1976,

in

jetliner that

terrorists

in

was

December

Glaser Round; A high-velocity, prefragmented projectile

produced

bullet.

in

a soft point,

round-nose

style

Nearly 100 percent of available energy

is

elite

in

the head.

FBI unit that

responds to terrorist and similar high-risk

inci-

dents.

Hydra-Shok: Lethal hollow-point ammunition manufactured by Federal Cartridge

CT

1994.

falls

to about 2,000 feet above the ground before

Head Job: Slang term meaning to be shot


HEU: Highly Enriched Uranium.

accomplishments were the

parachute

which the parachutist

Nationale, France's elite counterterrorist unit.

cue of a school bus of children that was hijacked

parachute

insertion technique used to thwart detection by

observation and

Gendarmerie

coun-

hijacked

killed.

High Altitude, High Opening.

which

la

elite

GSG-9 retook

Lufthansa 737 with 91 persons aboard that had


been hijacked by terrorists in October 1977.
The assault occurred at Mogadishu Airport; no

intelligence for the team.

d'Intervention de

done

are

structure of the target.

detachment, which conducts recon and collects

GIGN: Groupe

drills

GSG-9; Grenzchutzgruppe-9, Germany's

deploying his parachute.

drills.

Funny Platoon: Nickname for Delta Force's all-female

the

an assault team doesn't have time to build

hostages were

and "flashcrashes."

massive

mm

the floor to indicate the location of walls, door-

terterrorist

FAST: Fleet Antiterrorist Security Team, a Marine

Ferret:

in

same stopping power as a .44 magnum.


Glass House Drill: An exercise in which an assault
team practices assaulting a target using tape on

when

Service.

FAA: Federal Aviation Administration,


agency that

transferred to the target, resulting

trauma. The Glaser round gives a 9

operator).

forces use Hydra-Shok

FBI's

HRT

Company. Many

ammo,

including the

and the U.S. Marshals Service's SOG.

IND: Improvised Nuclear Device


nuclear bomb).

(i.e.,

homemade

125

INS: Immigration

&

Naturalization Service, a federal

agency that prevents the


uals into the

entry of individ-

illegal

United States.

Jedi: Nickname for members of DevGroup, after the


movie Star Wars.
JSOC: Joint Special Operations Command. A compo-

Command

nent of the U.S. Special Operations

headquartered

employment

SOAR.
Nickname

Kicker:

who

is

Pope AFB that oversees the


DevGroup, SFOD-D, and 160th

at

of

Bird:

assault

team

responsible for kicking open a closed

Nickname

AH-6 or MH-6

for an

copter used by the

MEU/SOC: Marine
Operations
equipped

HRT

and military

Expeditionary

Capable.

CT

heli-

forces

Unit

unit

Special

trained

that

and

conducts

unconventional warfare and hostage recovery.

called a Scoville

is

containers used by

15 million

is

CT

with 2 million SHU.

Heat Unit
SHU. Spray

units have 5 percent

OC

round-shaped

explosives.

CT

move room

to

teams use mouseholes to

assault

room

in a

building to avoid hall-

ways (which are often booby-trapped or covered by weapons

fire),

as well as to surprise tan-

as well as induces choking,

Operator: General term for

member

of an assault

Mozambique: Slang for


of a terrorist and
that the tango

is

firing

two

bullets to the chest

one to the head. This ensures

permanently out of the picture.

See also Double Tap.


National

America's

Command Authority.The
military

top-level of

chain-of-command, which

consists of the President and the Secretary of

Defense.

Parrot: Slang for a person

who

has not yet been

ARC.

guy Hence, he

is

an unknown.
Plink:

single discriminating shot, usually a bullet to

the head.

Ranch: See Wally World.


gun, such as the

for a

compact submachine

H&K MP5K.

SAS: Special Air Service, Great Britain's premier

CT

world attention in 980 when it


recaptured Princess Gate from terrorists who
had taken over the Iranian embassy in London
unit that gained

(Operation Nimrod).

Nickname

Physical:

for the thorough

medical physical given to candidates applying to

Delta Force.

SEAL: Sea/Air/Land, one component of the Navy's

Command

Special

Warfare

special

operations.

stands for "Sleep,

that

is

tasked with

The acronym also


Eat And Live it up!"

Semtex:A Czechoslovakian
is

NEST: Nuclear Emergency Search Team, a DoE unit


that locates nuclear devices and weapons. See

comman-

der

Scuba/HALO

gos.

OC

causes immediate and

coughing, and nausea.

Room Broom: Nickname


small,

breach made into walls and/or doorways with

jokingly

plastique explosive that

popular with terrorists.

SFOD-D:

Special Forces Operational

Delta, which

is

more

popularly

Detachment-

known

as Delta

Force.

Shadow

Night Stalkers: See TF- 60.


1

Non-Lethal Weapons (Less Than

Lethal):

Weapons

designed to injure, stun, distract, confuse,

126

measure

(SHU). Pure capsaicin

identified as a friendly or a bad

specially

Corps

Marine

Mob: Nickname for DevGroup.


Mousehole: Nickname for a

also

unit of

team, as opposed to a supervisor or

for assaults and covert insertions.

NCA:

based on the capsaicin content of oleoresin. The

temporary blindness,

someone on an

for

door
Little

rather than kill a human being.


NVG: Night Vision Goggle.
OC: Oleoresin Capsicum, an inflammatory tear gas
made from red peppers. The hotness of OC is

etc..

Stalkers:

Nickname

for the

USMS

Special

Operations Group. It comes from the fact that


the unit hunts dangerous fugitives (a.k.a. shad-

ows), as well as waits

in

the shadows of federal

courthouses during high-profile cases to thwart

Takedown: An

Shoot and Scoot: A phrase that aptly describes how


an assault team clears a building or structure;
They find the bad guys, shoot 'em, and then
quickly move on to the next room or area.
Shooter: Nickname for the

members

team who are responsible

of an assault

for shooting hostiles.

See also Kicker

Nickname
is

for a

used to clear

Special

six-man assault formation

2) In the U.S.

I)

In

the FBI,

SOG

Marshals Service,

SOG

is

an elite

unit that deploys to high-risk situations, such as

escorting terrorists to and from federal courts.

SRT: Special Reaction Team.


ly

In

the military, a special-

trained unit that reacts to and resolves special

threats, such as terrorist acts and hostage tak-

Organized under

ing.

squad concept, the ideal

comprised of nine members.


Stockholm Syndrome: When hostages begin to
empathize with their captors and turn against

SRT

is

their rescuers.

occurred

in

Named

after a 1973 incident that

Stockholm, Sweden,

in

which two

suspects held four clerks hostage for 131 hours

aborted robbery. When an assault team


attempted to release them, the hostages shieldafter an

ed the suspects with their bodies.


later

SWAT:

One

hostage

married one of the suspects.

Special

Weapons and

Tactics, a unit that

is

trained and equipped to handle special, high-risk


incidents

TF- 60: Task Force 160, which


1

160th

after the mili-

Ft.

is

known

also

(e.g.,

barricaded

suspects,

snipers,

armed encounters). Most law enforcement


agencies and military bases have

SWAT

teams.

in

an elite

It is

Army

as the

Regiment

Operations Aviation

Special

(160th SOAR).
of

unit based

Campbell, Kentucky, that engages

in

out

covert

operations and ferries Delta Force and other

operations

SOAR

units

around. The

160th

nicknamed "Night Stalkers" because it


does most of its work at night.
Tie-Tie (Flex Cuffs): A lightweight and flexible 22inch-long plastic band that is used to handcuff
is

someone's wrists or

legs. The keyless tie-tie

can only be removed by cutting

is

Trick: To

it

so
it

off with a

or a pair of clippers.

knife

a building.

Operations Group.

responsible for covert intelligence gathering.

is

named

the letter "T" (Tango)

strong (tensile strength of 370 pounds) that

agent.

that

SOG:

a target.

the phonetic alphabet. See also Crow.

special

SIOC: Strategic Information Operations Center, a


specially equipped suite from which the FBI
directs major investigations (e.g., World Trade
Center bombing, Montana Freemen siege).
Slime: Slang term meaning to be gassed with a chemSnake:

on

tary's designation for

terrorist attacks.

ical

assault

Tango: Slang for a terrorist. So

modify and/or customize a weapon.

Uncle Fester:

person

how

mation on

to

USCS: United States

who

publishes/shares infor-

make chemical weapons.


Customs Service, a federal

agency that prevents the

illegal

entry of sub-

stances, weapons, etc.

USMS: United

States Marshals Service

USSOCOM:

United

Command. A
1987 and

Tampa,

mand

States

unified

headquartered

Florida.

It

Special

command
at

Operations
established

in

AFB

in

MacDill

com-

has overall operational

of military special operations forces. See

alsoJSOC.
USSS: United States Secret Service.
Wally World: Nickname for Delta Force's new, multimillion dollar, special

ty at

Ft.

operations training

facili-

Bragg. (The original Delta Force

HQ

was located at Ft. Bragg's old stockade and was


known as "The Ranch" because of the propensity of some operators to chew tobacco and wear

When Delta moved to


name came along with it.)
(WPs): Nickname for a

cowboy

boots.

facilities,

the

Willy

Peter

its

new

White

Phosphorus incendiary grenade.

127

11

NDEX
Atodent Response Group (ARG). 9
Air Force

92. 94

6lh Special Operations Wing, 4

Air Force 720th Speoal Tactics

Gnoup

Colt

Marshals5er^/ice,U.S59,7l-83,87

FN-FAL 104

Al-Fuqfa.25.27

McVeigh,Timothy

American Milto Organization. 26

Mid-South

Antiterronst Aiert Center

(ATAQ,

of Self-Defense Shooting, IIZ

Institute

Army Aeromedical Isolation Team (AIT). 97


Amny Oiemical Casualty Site Team, 96
Amiy 160th Speed Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR),

Natonal

41,57.81.113

Nichols, Terry 14

Amiy 52nd Ordnance Group. 91,93


Amty Technical Escort Unit (TEU), 95. 96

Nonega. Manuel. 30

Aryan Nations. 2

1,

Socialist

(NAVSPECWAR), 42, 43, 57, 99

Nav>'SEAU37,4M787

RugerMini 14,104

6Z 8

Sanches,

SAS

100

30-3Z

Oinstian Patnots Defense League, 2

44, 5

27

Snell,

Coulson,Danny.5l,53,54,5657,59

Special Operations

Response GnDup (CIRG),

66 68.122

86

Agency (DIA), 3

Richard Wayne,

Disaster Medical Assistance Teams

DoE Threat Assessment Teams


FBI Critical Incident
FBI

60,

Hostage Rescue Team (HRT),

49-69,

35, 44, 40,

122, 123

90 92,

88 92, 93,

GIGN

Q5

Green

58, 80,

02,

4 1, 87
101,

12

Geof^ "Ray" 72. 74, 80. 8Z 83

Homing, Daniel Ray

63.

13,

International

Cnminal Fblice Organization (INTERPOL). 3ft 32

Islamic Jihad.

35 85

Joint Special

Operations

Kaczynski.Theo(Jore, 27.

37. 40.

H&KUSP.45ACPI00

Winchester

H&KUSP9(9mm),

100

Special

105

gun,

.300. 104

106,

107

Baton rounds, 106

100

.45 caliber pistol,

Magnum

Weapons 8 Equipment

99

Bean bag rounds. 106


Flash-bang grenades (liashcrashes). 106

101

L8Multi-launcher;l06

SauerP22aiOO

Rubber

SIG.357, 101

Sound vrave

36),

Ops

43

18-120

H&K

ACPI 00
1

- 07
1

MAC

Iftl02

MP5/IO(IOmm),

101

BlackTalon, 107

Glaser 107

Spectre

Gneenshield. 107

Uzi (9

Manne Corps

SimunitionFXI07l08
Assault

MPS. 101

Ingram

MP5K(9mm). 102
MP5N(9mm). 101

Hydra-Shok. 107

Chemical/Biologial Incident Response Force

Teargas,l06

Submachine Guns (SMG), 101-103

99

,45

(specific types),

72

106

device, 107

Cott assault nfle (9 mm). 101,102

(Model

Wilson Special

bullets,

Stinggrenade, 106, 107

Sig5auers,99

Weapons

105

.5ft

VaimeMk-2(7.6Z-mm), 105

Lav^

128

M-86SR

Robar SR-9a 105

OO

Marcinko,Dick.4Z47,57

(CB1RF),97

105

McMillan

Robar SR-60. 105

100, 101

Kansi.MirAimal,2a35
1

105

M^AI.

McMillan M-88

99

pistol,

Ammunition, 107-109

Command (|SOQ.

mm)/.308 Winchester 104

Remington 700. 105

Clock handgun,

S&W ,38

Immigralon and Naturalization Service (INS). 3Z 80

UnearAssaults.

M-24

15

99-101

S&W.45.99

64

(7,62

H&KMSG9ftl05

55

37,

S&W .357 handguns, 99

HAMAS, 25
Hs/em.

NATO

SigP228. 100

GSG-9 (GerTTany),39.44.5l,52,58,80,99,

104,105

SniperRifles.

Rugerpistol(.22), 100

45

Berets,

100

OZ

MI9I 1,99

P226

66 69

(France), 39, 44, 5

(Italy).

M-2I.I05

MPS submachine

32 33

of International Temonst Events (FfTE). 30

Freeh. Louis.

37,

72

Model 92F

MI9IIAI

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), 29.

H8.K99
85,

100,101,104

File

27,

Glakl7,

100

99.100.101,103,107,111,113,122,123
FBI. 3- 5, 2
22. 24, 27, 29. 30, 35, 49-69,
1

Colt

Response Gnoup (CIRG),

103, 104

H&KPSG-I.I05

25. 3

(general),

Berttta

(NN-62), 88

103

Robar customized 87ft 103

ACP.45,99, 100

120 122

(DMAT), 97

Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA),

MI/M3 Super 9a

74-76, 80

Department

Weapons

103, 111,1 13,

Ithaca 34, 103

13

FR-F2, 105

Urban Search and Rescue (USAR),

DevGroup.29,4M7,93,

13

Department of Justice, 3Z 83
80

H&KBenelliM-l2l,l03

IZ

Operations Group (SOG),6l,7l-83,99, 101,

Unabomber

Operatons Command, US, (USSOCOM). 3

machine gun, 103

Light

Shotguns, 103, 104

12

Special

IIZ

FranchiModell2SPAS, 103
1

Special

Department of Energy 85-97

2,

Remington 870

State

25

9,

Stagg, Lou.

29, 30.

and Resean* Section (SOARS), 50, 5Z 53, 66

105,111.113,122

52 58, 06

MossbergSOO, 103

Delta Force. 29, 37-42. 5(^53. 55, 57, 80, 87, 100. 101. 103.

lOZ 104

Secret Service. U.S. (USSS), 34, 100,

COMSUBIN{yy),45

Department of State, 2

Secret Senflce Counter-Assault Team (CAT). 101.

61

Simeone.john.50-55.57.61

Intelligence

M-245 Squad automatic weapon. 103

42-47, 52, 53, 55, 80

Six,

CIA CountertemDnsm Center (CTQ, 35

Defense

H&K2IEI03
H&K23EI03

68

Secret Service Counter Sniper Team (CST), 105,

& Prevenloa 96, 97

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA),

M-60E3
4

(United Kingdom), 39,

SEAL Team

Bureau of Prison Special Response Team, 61. 63

Centers for Disease Contnol

Universal Gun), 104

H&K2I,I03

Raminsz, 20

llich

(Amny

Machine Guns, 103

Manne Commandos, 52

Royal

Bureau of Alcohol,Tobacco. and Firearms (ATF), 59,

AUG

Steyr

Revell. Oliver "Buck." 40, 53, 55, 56, 59, 61

Branch Davidian. 25, 62

Service. 32. 34.

M-IA/M-14, 104

101, 102, 105, 121

Reagan,Ronald40, I0ZII2

53

104

H&KG3senes, 104
M-I6AI/AZ 104

22

PosseComtotus.21,2650

22 26 59, 94

Beckwith, Col. Charles, 38.

Customs

H&K 93,

bberation Fnant 2

Naval Special Warfare

104

33,

H&K53, 104

13

Nuclear Emergency Search Team fNESTl. 49. 85-97

AumShinnkyo, 18.94,95

Critical Incident

H&K

14,2072

9,

104

FA MAS, 104

Natonal Security Agency 31,35

Commando,

Manne Corps FAST 101


Manne Corps, 57, 65

Grabber 107

Rifles,

104

M4

(9

mm). 102

mm). 102

WebsterWilliam.5ft52
Younis,Fawaz.35,59-6l

Yousef Ramzi Ahmed. 2ft

7Z 73

DATE DUE
APfi

SEP

2 4

"^'

5 2003

WJ

ti43^

.Tii^

Ton^ajc^yj,,

igy^

Stephen

F.

St

D3158

S ELITE
ounter-Terrorist Forces
f.